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Book reviews

Archaeology and prehistory Eastern later prehistory. Chapter 2 focuses on


the site setting, history of excavations and the
general occupation sequence of the site.
Byrd, Brian F. Early village life at Beidha, Chapter 3 describes the methodology and
Jordan: Neolithic spatial organization and analytical tools employed. Chapter 4 presents
vernacular architecture. xiv, 442 pp., maps, gs, the stratigraphy and chronology, including the
tables, illus., bibliogr. Oxford: Univ. Press, 2005. problematic nature of many of the radiocarbon
99.00 (cloth) dates for xing the precise duration of the
occupation, although the conclusion is that
For almost half a century Diana Kirkbrides the entire sequence relates to the Middle
investigations at Beidha in Jordan were regarded Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB). Chapter 5 details
as the quintessential example of early village life the construction methods and modications of
at the southern end of the Fertile Crescent. the individual structures from the different
Preparation of nal excavation reports is always a phases. Chapter 6 examines variability,
difcult undertaking, all the more so when the continuity, and change in architectural layout
eldwork was directed by one individual and the through the sequence, including the spatial
task of drawing the threads of the synthetic structure of the community. Chapter 7
report are conducted by another who synthesizes developments in community
participated in none but the last of the organization and the utilization of space within
long-running seasons. Brian Byrd is to be the village. Chapter 8 concludes by placing the
commended for tackling such a massive task and architectural results within the broader
for the systematic and thorough nature of his perspective of developments in the Near East.
endeavours, this being the second volume An abstract is provided in Arabic, while some
published by him after that on the much less 450 photos, plans, and gures provide copious
complex Natuan remains underlying the documentation for the text.
Neolithic village. The most radical change compared to
As noted explicitly by Kirkbride herself, and Kirkbrides preliminary reports relates to the
reiterated by Byrd in the introduction, the eld presentation of the stratigraphy. Byrd simplies
methodology employed at Beidha was in direct matters by employing a three-fold model (albeit
apposition to her earlier experience with with sub-phases), corresponding to what he
Kenyons narrow, deep sounding excavations at ultimately concludes to be the basic residential
Jericho, where not a single complete Pre-Pottery architectural styles. These developed from the
Neolithic structure was exposed. The Beidha round and curvilinear houses of founder Phase
excavations thus focused on providing extensive A, through sub-rectangular structures in Phase B,
horizontal exposures of the village to enable to the two-storey corridor buildings of Phase C.
investigation of community organization and Here, it is of some interest to note that the
layout. partial preservation of upper storeys in the latest
The report comprises eight chapters. phase had previously caused considerable
Chapter 1 examines current approaches to Near problems in stratigraphic assignment.

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 12, 675-724


Royal Anthropological Institute 2006
676 Book reviews

Byrd views the site as having been Coe, Michael D. The Maya (7th edition). 272
continuously occupied throughout the Middle pp., maps, gs, tables, plates, illus., bibliogr.
PPNB, and believes that residential units London: Thames & Hudson, 2005. 9.95
throughout were organized around the nuclear (paper)
family. He sees the shift from Phase A to Phase B
as deriving from the catastrophic burning of Michael Coe published the rst edition of this
most of the village, bringing about the book forty years ago with the intention of
abandonment of highly ammable timbered providing the public with a compact and
structures as a construction element. However, readable introduction to the Maya that people
architectural changes were tempered by other could easily take with them when visiting the
mechanisms, and the fundamental trends magnicent Pre-Columbian ruins in southeastern
throughout the entire sequence included rst, Mexico and adjacent countries of Central
the increased discreteness of individual America. That Coe is still improving the book
households as the focus of activities and and that it is still a best seller testify to the
production; and second, the appearance and brilliance and endurance of both author and
then expanded importance of distinctive, subject. Just as an artefact, the present edition is
signicantly larger corporate buildings (p. 128). a denite advance over, for example, the
Furthermore, distinction between public and mid-course fourth edition (1987), with more
private space increased over time ... storage and illustrations, including many in colour, larger
production were spatially segregated from the print type, and better paper capable of resisting
exterior and from most public portions of the sweaty hands of intrepid tourists. The
domestic buildings (the upper storey). Hence, seamless coherency of the books subsequent
access to knowledge regarding storage and editions over the course of Coes productive and
production was more restricted and well deeply inuential career may derive from central
controlled (p. 129). The upper storeys of Phase problems and themes he posed to himself and
C corridor houses were for eating, sleeping, his readers from the outset: How did the Maya
entertaining, and were physically separate from adapt to their natural environments over time?
the storage and production areas in basements. What was the relationship between the Maya
This increasing compartmentalization of and their neighbours as they emerged as
activities reected more restricted social civilizations? What can we infer from the
networks. elaborate artwork and inscriptions of the Maya
The signicantly larger corporate structures about their religion, politics, and social
(most ostentatious in Phase A) are interpreted as organization over time? And what happened in
having functioned for supra-household the ninth century AD in what Coe calls the
decision-making, ceremonial, and political Central Area (the southern lowlands) during the
activities, in contrast to the more segregated so-called collapse? I will touch on some of the
ritual/cultic area structures to the east side of the news in this edition.
site. Monoliths, large post holes, and massive Recent lake core analyses in the lowlands,
carved basins comprised signicant components combined with sediment analyses from coastal
of such installations and structures, which also Venezuela, document several important episodes
lacked much of the refuse common in and of drought in rst millennium AD, and Coe
around domestic structures. Other public suggests that drought may have impacted some
architecture includes the village wall and steps, signicant events in Maya history, such as the
which appear to have acted as a buttress for the collapse of the great city of El Mirador, a slacking
soft sandy sediments on the south side of the off of elite activity in the mid-Classic called the
settlement. Still, Byrd sees no real evidence of Hiatus, and the ninth-century collapse in the
overall village planning. Central Area. Maize is an especially drought
While some attention is paid to the spatial sensitive staple, and no matter how this complex
distribution of furniture and some small nds relationship between climate and cultural
within structures, as well as patterns of garbage adaptation continues to play out, Coe is
disposal, detailed analyses must await another certainly right to believe that the empirical
volume. Byrd is to be congratulated for bringing patterns will be central to our understanding of
this volume to fruition, the results of which Maya political economy.
document one of the most important Neolithic The Maya lived in a world of many
sites excavated in the Near East. civilizations, and they traded, allied, and likely
A. Nigel Goring-Morris The Hebrew University warred with their neighbours from the time of
of Jerusalem the rst settled farming communities in the

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Book reviews 677

Preclassic or Formative period. As an expert on warfare. Of these, warfare has become even
the earlier Preclassic Olmec civilization with its more prominent in this edition. Research during
major centres in the Gulf Coast lowlands the 1990s in the Petexbatun by Arthur Demarest
adjacent to the Maya lowlands, Coe has and the Vanderbilt project documented that
consistently maintained that Olmec religious and along the Pasin River, population pressure and
political institutions shaped and informed those degrading environment were not major factors.
of the later Preclassic Maya. In this edition Coe Rather, warfare on an increasingly destructive
details exciting new Late Preclassic murals scale brought down the royal capitals and drove
discovered by William Satumo depicting Maya away those who could ee. In late 2005
kings and gods at the site of San Bartolo in Demarest reported the nal wholesale massacre
northeastern Peten. Coes student Karl Taube is of royal courtiers at the palace of Cancuen,
responsible for the analysis of the religious and southernmost major lowland capital on the
political symbolism of the new murals and he is Pasin. Why the majority of Central Area Maya
making a compelling case for the perpetuation fought themselves into total demographic
of the Olmec maize god as the pivotal deity in collapse remains an open question, but the
Maya rites of royal sacrice and accession. arrogance and short-sightedness of the ruling
Coe calls the decipherment of Maya glyphs elite surely played a pivotal role.
over the span of his career a revolution, and So the story of the Maya continues, and
indeed this edition contains a rich tapestry of Coes fresh take on it is engaging, accessible,
ancient history peopled with kings, queens, and authoritative. One may hope that he will
conquerors, reecting the advancement of our provide yet another recounting before the
ability to read the ancient texts. The challenge to turning of the great Maya cycle in 2012. There
students of the Maya is how to assess the reality will surely be new discoveries and insights to
behind the royal descriptions of events through relate.
archaeological eld research. Updating a David Freidel Southern Methodist University
perennial debate over the relationship between
the great Classic period highland Mexican city of
Teotihuacn and the Maya, Coe describes how McAndrews, Timothy L. Wankarani
David Stuart recently showed that the warlord settlement systems in evolutionary perspective.
Siyaj Kahk (Fire is Born) likely travelled from xiv, 125 pp., maps, tables, illus., bibliogr. La Paz,
the west to conquer the major Maya city of Tikal Pittsburgh: Univ. Pittsburgh, 2005. $21.00
in January of AD 378. Stuart identied a (paper)
monument inscription on Stela 15 at the site of El
Peru, ancient Waka, some 75 km due west of The southern highlands of Bolivia in the modern
Tikal, that placed Siyaj Kahk there eight days department of Oruro along the Rio Desaguadero
before he arrived at Tikal. My current are a harsh, unforgiving environment. Although
archaeological research project at El Peru-Waka, arid, cold, and hypoxic, the region was the scene
co-directed with Hctor Escobedo, is conrming of the development and persistence of a
the signicance of Siyaj Kahks arrival there in remarkable archaeological culture Wankarani.
early January AD 378. Project epigrapher Stanley Thought to have existed from 2000 BC to AD
Guenters reading of Stela 15 links the arrival of 250, it is best known for its tell-like mounds,
the warlord with the accession of the local king some of which reach a height of eight metres,
as a vassal. He and I also identied a second and elaborate carvings in stone of the heads of
Waka stela that not only discusses Siyaj Kahk llamas. Despite these interesting features, little
but also portrays him posthumously as a systematic research on Wankarani had been
Teotihuacano warrior some seventy years after conducted until the 1990s, when Marc Bermann
the celebrated arrival. Clearly the kings of El of the University of Pittsburgh, his Bolivian
Peru-Waka regarded their vassal status to Siyaj colleague Jos Estvez Castillo, and a number of
Kahk with great pride and as pivotal to their Bermanns graduate students initiated a series of
history. We continue to explore for further survey and excavation projects in the region.
archaeological evidence relevant to this episode. In this slim monograph, Timothy L.
The ninth-century collapse in the Central McAndrews takes on the task of describing
Area is a fertile enigma that continues to inspire Wankarani culture and crafting an explanation of
the current generation of Maya experts as it has its development and evolutionary trajectory. The
all previous ones. Coe lists three major factors: monograph, which is based upon McAndrews
dense populations stressing the fragile tropical 1998 dissertation, is composed of seven chapters:
environment; severe episodes of drought; and Theoretical background (chap. 1), Field

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678 Book reviews

methodology (chap. 2). Cultural context and riverine contexts, suggesting an agricultural, or
chronology (chap. 3), Environmental setting agro-pastoral, adaptation, although confounding
(chap. 4), Wankarani settlement systems (chap. this is a lack of non-mound Wankarani period
5), Post-Wankarani settlement patterns (chap. sites that may have served as seasonal pastoral
6), and The emergence and organization of camps. Settlement system growth was
Wankarani village-based settlement (chap. 7). characterized by slow population increase and
Each is presented in both English and Spanish village ssioning. Although some variability in
on alternating pages. This dual-language format activity performance was observed, no
has necessarily led to an economy of description settlement hierarchy was identied.
of project ndings. In compensation, some I see this monograph as an important, but
useful data sets have been made available online incomplete, rst step in elucidating processes of
at the University of Pittsburgh Latin American Wankarani cultural change. McAndrewss
Archaeology Database research has identied the outlines of these
(http://www.pitt.edu/~laad), including the basic processes, but many questions remain. In part,
data used for creating population estimates, this is due to the limitations of survey data,
descriptions of ceramics and projectile points, which only provide information on the nal use
and a complete list of map data, site locations, of the mounds. I also suspect that aspects of the
and other descriptive information. sedentarization process are buried at their bases.
The goals of McAndrewss research were to To address properly the questions he has raised,
(1) determine the degree of nucleation during excavation is necessary. I thus found it surprising
the sedentarization process; (2) examine that no mention was made of Courtney Roses
settlement location as a proxy measure of the dissertation excavations at nearby La Barca
type of subsistence system; (3) describe the (Household and community organization of a
growth of the settlement system; (4) determine Formative Period Bolivian Settlement, 2001). It
the degree (if any) of inter-site variability; and appears that McAndrews did not update his
(5) identify trends toward the establishment of dissertation to include archaeological and,
a settlement hierarchy (p. 1). His theoretical importantly, palaeo-environmental data
orientation has been strongly inuenced by the published since 1998. This is unfortunate
work of Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus, who because Roses work as well as new data on
have pioneered the modern anthropological environment both support and challenge some
archaeology approach to the origins of settled of his ndings and explanations of them.
village life in both Mesoamerica and Mark Aldenderfer University of Arizona, Tucson
Mesopotamia. McAndrewss work is thus
profoundly processual and rmly grounded in a
cultural evolutionary perspective, and exhibits McGhee, Robert. The last imaginary place: a
both the strengths (clear problem orientation; human history of the Arctic world. 296 pp., maps,
good articulation of theory, method, and data) illus., bibliogr. Ontario: Key Porter Books, 2004.
and weaknesses (primary reliance upon $39.95 (cloth)
adaptationist causality of cultural change) of this
paradigm. His project consisted of full-coverage It is rare to nd a readable and engaging book
survey of two regional blocks and a sampling that deals with a variety of intellectual issues in a
strategy of an area between them. A single test broad geographical region and extensive time
unit excavated at a key site provided additional frame yet proves well researched and
chronological control, new radiocarbon dates, incorporates the personal experiences and
and a conrmation that mounds were likely to transformations of the author. With Robert
have been occupied over hundreds of years. McGhees The last imaginary place we have
The results of his research proved somewhat exactly such a viable contribution to the history
mixed. Because McAndrews found no Archaic and anthropology of the Arctic. The books
period sites, no sense of the sedentarization subtitle calls attention to the idea that McGhees
process could be determined. We have project is a human history, and I trust readers
Wankarani mounds with no apparent will be convinced that McGhee successfully links
antecedents. The absence of an Archaic has been the history of the Arctic to broader issues of
observed elsewhere in Bolivia (the Valle de anthropological and humanitarian signicance.
Tiwanaku; the Taraco Peninsula near Chiripa) One noteworthy advantage of this book over
and is something of a puzzle since abundant other historical treatises of the Arctic is that it
Archaic materials have been found in Peru in the considers the Arctic region as an interconnected
Rio llave interior. Villages were tethered to component within the rest of the human world.

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Thus, the book brings the peoples and places of of the archaeology of the Norse colonization of
the Arctic out of the exotic, and emphasizes the Greenland and Canada, and the expansion of
role and effects of the developing world system. the ancestors of contemporary Inuit. McGhee
This approach aids the author in his main task: discusses Inuit oral history of their origin and
tracing the representations and images of the conquest of the region. This evidence, some of
Arctic as otherworld from ancient times to the which McGhee examined rst-hand, links the
present. The major issue which is pertinent peoples of northern Canada with the peoples of
across the Arctic and has a major impact on the Siberia and northern Europe. Similarly, McGhee
lives of its people is the view, mainly on the part has an excellent summary of the history and
of peoples living outside the Arctic, that the contemporary situation of the native peoples of
region is a wasteland useful only for extraction Arctic Siberia.
of economically relevant resources. Concomitant One can learn a great deal about the
with this view is the position that Arctic peoples medieval colonization of Iceland, Greenland, and
are somehow living representatives of the Stone Northeastern Canada and how this colonization
Age. McGhee eloquently dispels both myths and affected the lives and cultural developments of
explores the reasons behind the contradictory indigenous peoples from The last imaginary
fascination and fear of the Arctic among place. This well-written contribution to Arctic
explorers, travellers, and others who have made history and anthropology shows how Icelandic
the Arctic their temporary home. Thus, the book and Greenlandic and Inuit historical narratives
is useful for a variety of educational venues, such corroborate the archaeological evidence. Several
as circumpolar anthropology, globalization and chapters of The last imaginary place deal with the
colonization, and identity, beyond being an exploration of the Arctic by Europeans and
excellent read for the educated layperson. Americans in search of various passages to the
Alongside the books titular goal, McGhee Orient, sources of gold, whale oil, furs, ivory,
provides evocative and excellent discussions of and national and personal glory. Without a
major archaeological discoveries in the Arctic traditional concept of private property, Arctic
material and their implications, concise peoples were susceptible to the land-hungry
summaries of the issues with which native and destructive powers of colonization,
northern peoples have historically dealt, and a mercantilism, industrial development, and
presentation of the forces likely to bring future settlement. McGhees nal substantive chapter
change to the aboriginal peoples of the Arctic. looks at the relationship between indigenous
McGhee begins the book with a brief discussion Arctic peoples and their land and resources,
of the relationship between the expansion of providing an instructive introduction to a large
modern humans, technological developments body of literature on the topic of indigenous
during the Palaeolithic, and the challenges and rights and Arctic peoples.
conditions presented by the Ice Ages. This John P. Ziker Boise State University
preface adds a new idea to discussions of human
evolution and a claim for the universal
importance of Arctic adaptations for the Moffat, Alistair. Before Scotland: the story of
development of our species. The next chapter Scotland before history. 352 pp., maps, plates,
traces the history of the Arctic in ancient bibliogr. London: Thames & Hudson, 2005.
thought, displays superb scholarship, and 18.95 (cloth)
demonstrates the path dependency of
otherworldly representations of the Arctic over Before Scotland is a good and engaging example
the millennia. This argument is carried through of a new kind of archaeology book, in which the
several other chapters of the book and provides human story takes centre stage. Its title echoes
an overarching theme. those by masters of previous generations,
McGhees discussion of the importance Gordon Childes Prehistory of Scotland of 1935
of hunting for Arctic peoples sustenance and (and subsequent versions) and Stuart Piggotts
cosmology is presented in chapter 3, along with Scotland before history of 1958 (and subsequent
a fullling overview of the archaeology of the versions). Each has taken the same brief: to give
Tuniit and Inuit. The stereotypical image of the an account of the land during the distant mists
Inuit is one of a people who have a long history of prehistory, before the time when there can be
of adaptation to the high Arctic. The proof of this a more secure history with actual known
view is the existence of Palaeo-Eskimo/Dorset place-names, persons, and dates.
culture, or Tuniit. Those who accept this idea In those old books, the material record is the
would benet greatly from McGhees discussion focus. Care and effort patiently tie the curiosities

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Royal Anthropological Institute 2006
680 Book reviews

into a culture-history sequence; social inference overwhelming likelihood is that it goes


is necessarily restricted. A generation ago, much further back, all the way to the
calibrated radiocarbon dating transformed later arrival of the early pioneers after the
prehistory, and with it has come the ever-ner retreat of the last Ice Age.
knowledge of the sites and their specics. A far
more detailed culture-history can now be the
With the seabird subsistence economy of St Kilda
starting-point for an account concerned more
in the later nineteenth century, and the
with human lives and experiences. The singular
contemporary craft of making coracles with
material anomalies remain: the chambered tomb
canvas, it is made a lively part of the chapter,
(if tomb is indeed what the megalithic
titled The wildwood, on the Mesolithic hunter-
structure with human bones socially was) of
gatherers of some 10,000 and more years ago.
Isbister, with its bones of at least fteen
A good and imaginative range of modern
sea-eagles; the mounded burial place (if burial
and historic analogues are seen as pertinent to
is indeed the social word for this deposit) at
lively accounts of these ancient matters. But yet
Irthlingborough with the bones of 184 cattle. But
again, I am reminded of the paradox of recent
there is a condence now that we can make
relations between prehistorians and
sense of the meaning of these things rather than
anthropologists. Just as the prehistorians,
say nothing or unreliably speculate in an
starting famously in the New Archaeology of
imaginative but pointless way.
the 1960s, have been in urgent need of social
So we are given a strong and lively story
models, social models which the anthropologists
right through. As well as the famous old Scots
should know from their ethnohistories of
sites like Skara Brae and Cairnpapple Hill, we
societies so unlike those of the modern
visit Doggerland, the low-lying lands off the
Westernized world, we have found that
British Coast in early post-glacial times which
anthropologists had lost interest in these
were ooded over to become the Dogger Bank,
matters, and preferred instead to follow the
a famous shing ground in the North Sea. When
fashions of literary criticism, and the unhelpful
it comes to the Classical period, the Romans are
(to archaeologists) games of postmodernism.
presented as the rapacious and exploiting
Where can we offer the energetic and smart
invaders they were, rather than welcome
author of this book, a TV producer rather than
bringers of order, straight roads, and plumbing.
an academic, better and more systematic and
I would have enjoyed the corresponding
more soundly based social analogues than his
opportunity having been taken to present the
dependence on simple models of local
subsequent Dark Ages instead as the Bright
long-term continuity?
Ages. They are indeed dark, if Scotland is seen
The book uses the device of separate
as slipping beyond the radiating light of a
explanatory boxes, to say what ochre is and how
dimmer Mediterranean empire. They can be
widely it has carried human meaning, or just
bright if they are seen as a period of northern
how chronologies came to be BC or AD. The
advancement, a time of gold and high
publishers call these valuable and quirky. The
decorative arts, when the internal links between
too-cute and irrelevant ones that there are
the northern lands were a better engine of a
fossilized prawns near the summit of Everest
better advancement than had been the external
should have been quietly killed.
exploitations of an acquisitive Roman Empire.
Christopher Chippindale Rock Art Research
The renewed and productive enthusiasm for
Institute, University of the Witwatersrand;
a human story has instructive intellectual
Australian National University; Cambridge University
consequences. It strongly advances continuity
models over perilously long time-periods, as the
pursuit of human experiences relevant to the far
Palk a, Joel W. Unconquered Lacandon Maya:
past naturally tends to privilege any historical
ethnohistory and archaeology of indigenous culture
and near-modern accounts that seem sufciently
change. xxi, 318 pp., maps, tables, gs, illus.,
close in place. The annual guga (gannet) hunt
bibliogr. Gainesville: Univ. Press of Florida, 2005.
on the rock of Sulasgeir by men from the Isle of
$65.00 (cloth)
Lewis is seen as

This is the rst archaeological investigation of the


that rare thing, one of the last survivals of historic Lacandon Maya, and the rst study in
an ancient way of life ... the people of the historical archaeology of the Maya area that
Lewis claim that the guga hunt deals with a tribal society without permanent
goes back to the 15th century ... the structural remains. As the author notes, most

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Book reviews 681

historical archaeology in the Maya area to date depth, the author further dispels the notion of
has focused on more complex communities with the Lacandon as an isolated, degraded pure
indigenous and/or Spanish architecture, and descendant group of the Classic Maya, and adds
more complex archaeological features and persuasive new evidence that, like any other
artefact assemblages. surviving Maya group, they have undergone
The Lacandon lived in small villages and substantial cultural change. Moreover, the rich
hamlets of perishable structures in the remote inventory of trade goods recovered from the
jungles of the southern Maya lowlands, and their sites include a variety of items from non-local
communities left few, if any, traces. Remaining sources, such as bottles, ceramics, and metal
traces of these settlements include an occasional artefacts, some manufactured in North America
historical report, increasingly scarce oral history and/or Europe. This evidence of extensive
accounts, a few non-indigenous fruit trees trading activities reects long-term engagement
(mango, avocado), and scattered artefacts buried with the outside world interactions with
beneath the litter and topsoil of the forest. traders, hunters, loggers, and other tribes in the
The rst ve chapters of the book explore region, as well as visits to frontier settlements
Lacandon history, archaeology, culture change, further dispelling widely held notions that the
demography, and settlement patterns, and Lacandon were isolated and had few contacts
include a critical survey of the past research on with outsiders.
the ethnohistory and ethnography of the The nal chapters address larger issues of
Lacandon. The author draws on a large body of changes in Lacandon social life and the impact
historical and ethnographic material, and this of increasing interaction with the outside world,
excellent review (and bibliography) provides a and the resulting impact on their own social
valuable reference work. The Lacandon, who organization, language, religious rituals,
descended from one or more early Colonial tribes ideology, and identity. These transformations are
of the southern lowlands Chol, Kehache, Itzaj, having a dramatic effect, as many have left the
and perhaps other crystallized as a distinct jungle for modern settlements, and only a
tribal group in the late eighteenth century, when hundred or so survive in small residential
they are rst reported in historical accounts. clusters in three main localities of the Lacandon
Chapter 6 enters new territory with the forest of Chiapas.
account of the survey and excavation of several The production of the volume is nely done.
sites in the Guatemalan Petn. The presence of The text is thoughtfully organized and well
the Lacandon in the Petn in historical times is written, and lavishly illustrated with numerous
poorly documented all the groups studied by detailed maps, both of the Lacandon region and
ethnographers are in Chiapas so the research of individual sites, and many high-quality ink
lls an important void in their history. Most of drawings and photographs of artefacts,
Palkas sites are in the Pasin River/Petexbatn settlements, and scenes of Lacandon life. These
region, where he excavated three sites (Caobal, include illustrations of artefacts from the
Matamangos, and El Mangal), as well as another excavations, as well as god pots from various
settlement near Tikal, in the Central Petn. The localities across the lowlands. The photographs
artefacts, coupled with historic information, include many recent and archival illustrations of
indicate that they were occupied in the Lacandon individuals and families, settlements
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The and houses, and a large collection of historical
surveys of the sites included the use of metal and recent pictures of Lacandon material culture,
detectors, and the excavations involved shallow perhaps the most extensive ever published.
horizontal exposures of large surface areas, This superb study will be of interest not only
which resulted in the identication of residential to Maya archaeologists and historians, but also
areas and living oors with activity areas. The to archaeologists conducting research into tribal
following two chapters present a description and groups worldwide.
analysis of the artefacts, and discuss their Anthony P. Andrews New College of Florida
implications for the reconstruction of Lacandon
behaviour, and transformations in their lifestyle,
economics, and material culture. Pluciennik, Mark. Social evolution. 156 pp.,
The archaeological materials allow Palka to illus., bibliogr. London: Duckworth, 2005. 11.99
document Lacandon culture change over a (paper)
200-year period, providing a unique perspective
unmatched by any other researcher. Along with Mark Plucienniks Social evolution is published in
other scholars who have studied the Lacandon in the series Duckworth Debates in Archaeology,

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Royal Anthropological Institute 2006
682 Book reviews

along with books on topics such as the Roman things as peripheral to the understanding of
countryside, shipwreck archaeology, and state evolutionism for their eld.
formation in early China. Yet unlike some of the The Boasians and neo-evolutionists of the
others, it addresses both archaeological and early twentieth century are covered in a little
social anthropological issues. It covers ideas more depth, and included are both
from both elds, with both historical and archaeologists like Gordon Childe and social
contemporary sources, and also thinkers like anthropologists like Steward and White. There
Mandeville, Montesquieu, Herder, William are also tantalizing comparisons to classical
Robertson, and Adam Smith in the eighteenth Chinese and Hindu conceptions of evolution
century. Plucienniks starting-point, however, is (two of Plucienniks specialist interests in earlier
really the seventeenth century, a case which he works), as well as reections on classic Western
has argued in recent, more specialized, social theorists, notably Marx. The mutual
publications. Although he seems to inuence of archaeology as politics and vice
de-emphasize that period here, he does add to versa is a subject explained in the last chapter,
consideration the suggestion that evolutionism on the frameworks of social evolution. Here we
has its sources not just with intellectual are treated to debates, for example, on
arguments and empirical observations, but also nationalism and archaeology, and on regional
with the dawn of colonialism and capitalism. diversity in broad categories like Mesolithic and
Space precludes him from taking this too far in Neolithic. This contains original material, and
this book, but it is an idea worth thinking about should be a delight for students to explore.
for both students and historians of Pluciennik is explicit about the potential for
anthropological ideas. ethnocentrism in the history of ideas, and that
In the nineteenth century, evolutionism certainly is worth some thought on the part of
returned through the new disciplines of his readers.
archaeology and anthropology and their In all, this is a wonderful little book for
newfound notions of culture. No doubt undergraduates in archaeology and in social
constrained by his publishers word limit, anthropology. It introduces them to key themes
Pluciennik gives less space to this interesting and key thinkers and to some of the larger
period than perhaps some readers would like, issues of the disciplines through their history
but he explains briey the technological and as practised today. However, it is, inten-
sequences introduced by Thomsen, Nilsson, and tionally, a very short book, and its main failing
Lubbock, and the interplay between culture and is that the issues it covers are dealt with ever
race, for example, in Herbert Spencers works. I so briey. That said, it should provide a clear
would have liked a little more on developments and inspiring introduction that will, one hopes,
of the time in Danish and Swedish archaeology, encourage students to delve deeper into some
as well as British archaeology, but what of the sources that Pluciennik summarizes. It
Pluciennik does include is wonderfully clear and will also at least show them some of the names
engaging. and issues that the idea of social evolution
One of his best sections is that of the relation invokes, and challenge them to think deeper
between the ideas of gures such as Morgan about big ideas in archaeology and anthropol-
and their implications for the likes of the US ogy and, of course, appreciate their historical
Bureau of Indian Affairs (tellingly, originally part signicance.
of the War Department) in the late nineteenth Alan Barnard University of Edinburgh
century, and throughout he encourages
rethinking relations between theory and
practice. Yet there are periods and developments Stringer, Chris & Peter Andrews. The
missing, such as the debates between complete world of human evolution. 240 pp.,
monogenists and polygenists in the early maps, tables, gs, plates, illus., bibliogr. London:
nineteenth century which were so important in Thames & Hudson, 2005. 24.95 (cloth)
the institutional construction of anthropology
(e.g., the Ethnological Society of London versus The recent sensational discovery of a new type
the Anthropological Society), and were also of primitive hominid on the island of Flores,
signicant in light of wider debates then on one of the Indonesian Sunda Islands, marks for
slavery and on the treatment of natives. Yet in many of us a turning-point in the study of
fairness, I acknowledge that this book is aimed human evolution. The discovery highlights how
mainly at archaeology students, many of whom little we actually know about human evolution
might (in my view, erroneously) regard these in Southeast Asia, and the growing rapidity with

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which our views need to be constantly revised The second section, titled The fossil
and updated. Perhaps this discovery marks a evidence, is straightforward with a
new era in the study of human evolution one chronologically based structure. It deals with the
of consolidation and strengthening of existing evolution of ancestral apes, australopithecines,
paradigms, not only by new fossil nds, but also and the Homo lineage, and concludes with a few
by the application of relatively new molecular, chapters on the contribution of genetic studies
medical, chemical, and radiometric methods. We to the study of hominid evolution. The selected
are therefore in the midst of a new phase in chapters give a broad, brief state-of-the-art
which we can further rene existing evolutionary overview about the fossil record. It is a
models, and develop new ones that are based well-balanced section that not only offers
on our growing ability to obtain a vast array of general information about the main fossils but
information from CT-scans, radiometric methods, also supplies the reader with the essential
ancient DNA and taphonomical studies to name context, namely the main theories, debates, and
but a few. controversies that are associated with each nd.
The complete world of human evolution by Thus, Stringer and Andrews use their extensive
Chris Stringer and Peter Andrews is written by experience to juxtapose skilfully between
two veteran researchers in palaeo-anthropology chapters that focus on a specic species and
who have not only witnessed some of the most ones that use a specic site, such as Gran Dolina
signicant discoveries and breakthroughs in in Spain, as a focal point of discussion about the
human evolution during the last few decades, early occupation of Homo in Europe and the
but are also responsible for some of the major transition from Homo Heildenbergensis to the
paradigm shifts and phylogenetic earliest Neanderthals.
reconstructions in the discipline. It is a book that The third section, entitled Interpreting the
will satisfy both non-scientists and lay readers as evidence, covers a mixed bag of topics that are
a new popular science volume about human none the less essential to those who wish to
evolution. gain a holistic insight into some of the more
The books main strength is its excellent complex aspects in human evolution. It starts
colour pictures, plates, tables, and gures, with two chapters on the evolution of
following a typical Thames & Hudson format locomotion and the evolution of feeding, moves
and layout. The textual part is at times very brief on to address the First Americans, followed by
but none the less succinct and offers the ve chapters on tools, and the reconstruction of
essential information about some of the main human behaviour. The chapters on the evolution
topics in human evolution. The chapters provide of locomotion and feeding are in my opinion
a concise up-to-date account of all the major central to human evolution and thus their
aspects of human evolution, which all in all inclusion is particularly welcome.
gives the reader an excellent introduction to a In sum, this is a rst-rate up-to-date account
fascinating discipline in constant ux. of the main issues of human evolution. The
The rst section, titled In search of our book is enjoyable and is highly recommended
ancestors, contains chapters about human to those requiring a simple crash course into
variation, palaeo-anthropology, the geological the eld. For anyone who is interested in
time scale, various archaeological methods, and human evolution and is looking for a
environments. This section provides the reader comprehensive overview, this is a good place
with a crash introduction to some of the central to start. It may also serve undergraduates as it
theoretical and methodological aspects that can help them to set straight their chronology,
underlie any palaeo-anthropological study such fossil nomenclature, and geography and also
as a brief introduction to radiometric dating provide them with some essential references to
methods, excavation techniques, and more academic sources on each of the topics
taphonomy. The second part of this section covered.
provides six study cases from some of the major Ron Pinhasi Roehampton University
fossil sites, such as Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, as
well as from non-African sites such as Rudabnya
in Hungary and Pas, alar in Turkey. These are Trigger, Bruce G. Understanding early
particularly informative as they provide the civilizations. xiii, 757 pp., illus., bibliogr.
reader with specic details about how fossils are Cambridge: Univ. Press, 2003. 40.00 (cloth)
detected, excavated, and recorded, and by doing
so gives a glimpse into what it is actually like to Understanding early civilizations is a
be out there in the eld. comparative study of seven early civilizations. It

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is a monumental work of twenty-nine chapters, layout of cities and temples in all civilizations. He
divided into three core sections which address replaces these grand claims with meticulous
socio-political organization, economy, and attention to what the data actually tell us about
cognitive and symbolic aspects. The book has life in early civilizations, writing with an assured
well over 300,000 words of almost continuous and persuasive authority.
prose with no more than a scatter of While explicitly about early civilizations, this
illustrations. It makes minimal use of section book is really about the nature of anthropology
headings within chapters and has no truck with and the nature of being human. Trigger is as
box features, diagrams, and so forth. Perhaps unhappy with extreme cultural relativism as he
conscious of the daunting prospect this is about rationalism, the proposition that
provides to readers who have become used to people of all cultures behave in basically the
ideas and data being served in bite-sized same way with cultural variation being no
chunks, easily digestible but providing limited more than epiphenomenal. Rather than
academic sustenance, Trigger suggests in his trying to resolve this deep-seated divide in
preface that those primarily interested in anthropology by argument alone, he gets to
theoretical issues might like to read no more work by identifying the precise ways in which
than nine chapters four introductory early civilizations were similar and in which
chapters, a chapter that summarizes each of ways they were different. He nds that both
the core sections, and two concluding chapters. similarities and differences were present and
Do not do this. Read every single word of this rightfully declares that to ignore these
book, even though you must sacrice a similarities out of loyalty to hoary dogmas of
substantial chunk of your life to do so. It is cultural relativism or historical particularism
brilliant in every respect. would be as misleading as to ignore cultural
While Trigger declares that the book took no differences in the name of unilinear
more than three and a half years to write, it is in evolutionism (p. 274).
effect a life-times work for he notes that as a Some of the differences can be explained by
nal-year undergraduate in 1959 he had written adaptation to different environments, notably
an essay comparing ve ancient urban centres. the different agricultural systems that were
In this work he selects seven early civilizations to employed. Others derive from idiosyncratic
compare: the Old and Middle Kingdom of Egypt cultural traditions, such as the specic art styles
(2700-1780 BC); southern Mesopotamia developed by early civilizations, although there
(2500-1600 BC); northern China in the late was a surprising amount in common with
Shang and early Zhou periods (1200-950 BC); regard to subject matter. The similarities are
the Valley of Mexico in the late fteenth and profound and far-reaching and cannot be
early sixteenth centuries AD; the Classic Maya explained away by invoking similarities in the
(AD 250-800); the Inca kingdom during the early pre-civilization chiefdom societies of each
sixteenth century AD; and the Yoruba and Benin region, as unilinear cultural evolutionists would
peoples of Western Africa from the wish to do. Neither are they found just at the
mid-eighteenth century to the beginnings of the economic and technological level: there are
colonial era in the late nineteenth century. To striking similarities in cosmological schemes
make his comparisons, Trigger describes each of that each civilization used to understand their
these civilizations in detail, drawing on a wide universe. Trigger concludes that to understand
range of primary and secondary sources to how these similarities have arisen,
display an astonishing breadth of knowledge anthropologists need to pay greater attention
and depth of insight. This allows the book to act to how biological evolution has resulted in
as a comprehensive source for information about certain psychological propensities within the
all aspects of these civilizations, irrespective of its human species to think and behave in some
achievement with regard to cross-cultural manners rather than others.
analysis. This book is a monumental work and a
Trigger debunks an array of what have been magnicent achievement. It is not only a
inuential claims about early civilizations, such turning-point in the documentation and
as the arguments from Elman Service and understanding of early civilizations, it is also
Maurice Godelier that these were theocracies profoundly important reection on the nature of
which relied on fear of the supernatural rather anthropology and the nature of the human
than military force for control of the lower condition.
classes, and Mircea Eliades argument for a Steven Mithen University of Reading
universal cosmic plan which inuenced the

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General whether it is anxiety as he hitches a ride with a


reckless driver into the interior and recites every
prayer he can think of to survive the night,
Arons, Nicholas Gabriel. Waiting for rain: laughter as he successfully avoids being dragged
the politics and poetry of drought in Northeast off to whorehouses, or stupor as he reels from
Brazil. xxvii, 251 pp., map, illus., bibliogr. Tucson: his over-indulgences in beer-drinking (all in the
Univ. Arizona Press, 2004. $36.95 (cloth), $17.95 name of research). Numerous fascinating
(paper) characters people his narrative: the local poets
Patativa and Joo Bandeira who wrote in the
Very occasionally, a book happens along which tradition of literatura a cordel (poetic chapbooks);
is so honest and raw in its treatment of an endless streams of women daily carrying water
otherwise dispassionate subject (in this case from distant wells to their towns; dusty, often
drought) that it can move the reader to tears. lifeless, children who suffer so dramatically; and
Nicholas Arons has accomplished just such a rare the chain-smoking Dutch priest who ministers to
feat in his poetry-studded narrative of the these poorest of the poor.
reasons for, and the multi-layered reactions to, At the same time the reader is exposed to the
the cyclical phenomenon of drought in painful history of the region, especially the
northeastern Brazil. In his carefully rendered remarkable droughts of the 1870s, 1930s, and
descriptions of the dusty towns of the inland 1990s, each of which killed thousands. Arons
serto, as well as his recounting of the history of claims not to be a Brazilianist, but he is clearly
what he terms concentration camps, where well versed in the prinicipal historical events and
thousands of refugees from the drought-ridden texts of the region as well as its literature and
interior gathered in coastal cities, Aronss words cinema. More to the point, his observations are
deliver an emotional punch. He skilfully exposes all meticulously referenced with academic
the seamy politics of this most poverty-stricken precision.
region of Brazil, a land which from the moment With a consistent eloquence, Arons records
of colonization to the present has endured the reactions of the local people to their lives,
endless hardship. their resignation as well as their religious
Certainly, the subject of drought is not a new fanaticism, and their sometimes violent
one to Brazilianists, and the wrenching poverty responses to the brutal reality of a federal
which accompanies such cycles as well as the government that cannot (or will not) rectify
dignity of the proud and resigned people of the conditions to avoid the disaster of drought.
Northeast who withstand such deprivation have The matter-of-fact way mothers speak of their
been dissected by journalists and academics infants death through hunger, the humiliation
stretching back for generations; one thinks of Aronss disgured friend by the local bosses
immediately of da Cunhas Rebellion in the to whom he is serving dinner, the water-
backlands, Ralph Della Cavas work on Padre diviners lack of interest in ofcial
Cicero, and Robert M. Levines monograph on weathercasts, are all beautifully handled in
the dbcle of the Brazilian militarys attempt to exquisitely sharp relief.
rout the religious followers of Anthony the If the resulting narrative is more poetic than
Counsellor from their latter-day Massada at scholarly, the fault lies not with the authors
Canudos. Anthropologists have also exposed the lack of background but with his literary bent.
injustices of this landscape (perhaps in English Certainly the excerpts of local poetry which are
the works of Nancy Sheper-Hughes and Candice woven into the text are intended to reinforce this
Slater are best known) while cinematographers impression. Considered by themselves, these
have rendered the region familiar through the poems are sometimes amusing (as when Arons
experimental cinema novo lms of Glauber Rocha asks a local poet to write a poem on
in the 1960s and, most recently, Walter Salless hand-washing and proper toiletting), but more
Central Station (1998). often than not, these snippets serve to reinforce
But what distinguishes Aronss account from the impression of resignation so characteristic
previous studies is his rare gift of writing with of this part of Brazil.
a compelling immediacy which privileges One might imagine that the authors aim in
his position as novice in the region, while writing this book would be to arouse action, but
simultaneously taking the reader along for the his conclusions perhaps only obliquely may be
ride. As Arons takes his rst steps towards considered a call to advocacy. Rather, Arons is
immersion into the culture of the Northeast, the content to honour his new friends in the region
reader vicariously experiences his discomfort, by re-creating in print the magical-surreal quality

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686 Book reviews

of the world in which they live. And, in that premature baby (her third child), had burned
goal, he succeeds magnicently. her husbands documents and other belongings,
Roberta Marx Delson The American Museum of and was known to attack people in at least
Natural History; Drew University one instance, with a knife. The inevitable
solution: emergency institutionalization in
whatever facilities available. Despite such
Biehl, Joo. Vita: life in a zone of social damning documentary and visual evidence, the
abandonment. 404 pp., illus., bibliogr. London, author raises doubt in the readers mind: could
Berkeley: Univ. California Press, 2005. 21.95 this pathetic gure be something more than a
(paper) raving madwoman the role assigned to her by
practically all concerned?
Joo Biehls book Vita: life in a zone of social This Bildung tale, told by the Brazilian-born
abandonment reads, in the best of author, raised in places and circumstances not
ethnographic fashion, like a mystery thriller. The so different from those of Catarinas childhood,
setting is a run-down philanthropic asylum in is divided in two parts. During the rst,
southern Brazil that, during the years under reecting broad erudition, the author calls on
observation (1995-2003), harboured a motley thinkers from Nietzsche to Lacan to ponder
crew of elderly, physically handicapped, and the fate of ex-humans, left in zones of
mentally ill patients as well as domesticated abandonment such as the asylum he studied.
street-dwellers and rehabilitated drug-users. Our Here, his text dialogues not only with Catarinas
guide through this maze is Catarina, a wilted melancholy poetry, but also with the photos of
beauty, sinking ever deeper into her wheelchair, Torben Eskerod, who forcefully frames scenes of
who tirelessly scribbles, in near-obsessive utter abjection. In fact, despite the apt depiction
determination, what she calls her dictionary. of a two-tiered health system that in many cases
Having discovered, in this presumably psychotic condemns the Brazilian poor to sordid neglect,
patient, a cogent partner in dialogue, the this is the part I nd less interesting. The tone of
ethnographer begins to perceive the apparently moral indignation seems to point an accusing
disconnected phrases written in her notebook as nger at just about everyone (state ofcials,
the musings of a poetic subjectivity, seeking patients families, hospital and shelter
desperately to be heard. Thus, the title of the administrators, etc.), leaving Catarinas
books introduction, copied from the opening anthropologist to restore humanity, both
pages of Catarinas notebook reads Dead alive, metaphorically and materially, where all others
dead outside, alive inside. have failed. These somewhat existential musings
By leading his readers through the thick begin to make retrospective sense when Biehl
description of a single life, Biehl reveals a tale of nally ventures outside the asylum,
social psychosis, involving years of misdirected encountering a surprisingly warm welcome
government health policy, medical among the various members (brothers,
incompetence, and the gradual disappearance of ex-husband, children) of Catarinas abandoning
the patients family. As he pieces together the family. Here, the analysis acquires proper
fragments of this womans existence rst ethnographic nuance and the reader becomes
through Catarinas own narrative and then aware of paradoxical situations that go beyond
through the careful tracking down of medical individual volition.
records and family members we discover a Further, it is in this second half that the
rural worker who, as a young bride, and still author realizes his stated ambition (inspired in
caring for her invalid mother, migrates to the authors such as Arthur Kleinman and Byron
outskirts of the state capital, where she and Good) to link personal experience and
other family members nd work in the shoe meaning-making to large-scale power
industry. Complaining of persistent pain, and processes. Evoking situations similar to those
suffering frequent falls, she is quickly let off from one might nd in other Third (and even First)
work, becoming one more victim of the World countries, Biehl paints a glum picture of
countrys economic decline. Over the next few Brazils recent policies for the mentally ill: model
years, her periodic admissions to the regions programmes that, paradoxically, promote
different mental institutions register varied progressive exclusion. Representatives of the
diagnoses: schizophrenia, postpartum neo-liberal government greet the health
depression, severe mood disorder. Catarina, her movements pleas for de-institutionalization with
relatives inform public authorities, represents a enthusiasm since community care involves so
hazard to society: she refused to nurse her much less nancial input. Progressive

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psychiatrists speak glowingly of new forms of a literalist hermeneutic. An elaboration of


citizenship for the mentally ill, but are unable to Crapanzanos 1999 Adolph Jensen lectures, this
press through necessary reforms and alternative books concern is with the imagination, as the
services that might guarantee adequate home work of both individuals and cultures. Here,
care. The much idealized family, pat antidote to imagination is not taken to delineate some sort
institutionalized care, never seems to be quite of highly structured ideational material that
up to the mark. The net result is a growing stands as the terminal result of a process, as it
number of disorientated people either on does in tropes such as imagined communities,
the street, or conned in unsupervised, the historical imagination, or the social
philanthropic (and suspiciously commercial) imaginary. Rather, this book takes as its subject
shelters, run by unqualied volunteers in the act of escaping from obdurate, quotidian
Catarinas case, mostly reformed junkies reality, the attempt to cross the imaginative
or born-again proselytizers. horizons that stand between the here and now
It is profoundly ironic that, despite the and an only dreamed otherworldliness that is
involvement of a small army of specialists beyond our ability to perceive because of its
doctors, social workers, human rights spatial, temporal, or ontological distance.
representatives, among others no one had ever For Crapanzano, the beyond of this horizon,
managed to arrange a neurological check-up for which is portrayed through the spatial metaphor
Catarina, one that would have revealed the rare of the arrire-pays, or hinterland, is complex, for
genetic syndrome she, all her siblings, her two reasons. The rst is the common epistemic
mother, grandfather, and a good many of her anxiety that arises from the act of guring the
over fty cousins, aunts and uncles were subjunctive, which is of interest only because of
carrying: Machado-Joseph disease. Until the its lack of existence. The second difculty
anthropologist came along, no one had thought emerges from the rst, as this picturing of the
of taking the necessary steps that would connect ephemeral beyond serves to reduce it; the very
this indigent woman to the pioneer research act of conjuring and articulating the imaginative
programme in the nearby university hospital that brings it into the realm of the here-and-now, of
specialized in exactly this disorder. Even more to representation and of circulation, and hence
the point, this autosomal dominant disease, undoes that unreality that was the very source of
typical of populations of Azorean descent, is the imaginatives initial allure. Afterwards, the
characterized by cerebellar ataxia (and imaginative qualities continue to exist only in the
progressive physical paralysis); it is not known form of an aura or penumbra attached to the
to affect the patients mental health. representation, if at all.
With the storys climax and dnouement, the Despite the transient and otherworldly nature
reader is provided with an object lesson of how of his subject, Crapanzano argues that the
genetic knowledge, produced through the imagination is suitable for ethnographic
intermingling of agencies (the authors and investigation. He turns his attention to how the
Catarinas), renders a redenition of personhood imaginative is evoked, constructed, and situated,
as well as a realignment of family ties. In this and to how these instantiations of the
particular biological complex, characterized by imagination reexively relocate the border
the interplay of genes and environment shaping between the here-and-now and the beyond of
Catarinas life cycle, ethnography stands as the the imaginative (as well as retroactively
missing nexus through which reality is not only transform the already articulated imaginative
understood, but transformed. itself). Crapanzano eshes out this speculative
Claudia Fonseca Universidade Federal do Rio ethnographic project through a series of
Grande do Sul montage-heavy meditations on elds that have
been of recent or long-standing ethnographic
interest, turning his attention to the between,
Cr apanzano, Vincent. Imaginative horizons: to the body, to pain, to trauma, to hope, to the
an essay in literary-philosophical anthropology. transgressive, to the erotic, to remembrance, and
xiii, 260 pp., bibliogr. London, Chicago: Univ. (nally) to world-ending and to death. In these
Chicago Press, 2004. 13.50 (paper) chapters, Crapanzano engages in a series of
vertiginous comparisons, drawn not only from
Following Serving the word, his recent book on his own eldwork in places such as Morocco,
religious and legal literalism in America, South Africa, and Southern California, but also
Crapanzanos new book is an investigation on from other sources in one instance the Apache
the faculty that, arguably, suffers the most under practice of speaking with names is set aside a

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688 Book reviews

snippet of Catholic Charismatic imagistic prayer; to the anthropological and historical study of
at another moment a mid-twentieth-century ritual. While ritual has been accorded a pivotal
Swiss villagers psychic decomposition is put up role in theoretical approaches ranging from
against Highland Papua New Guinea race-tinged Durkheimian functionalism, via political
apocalyptic Christian narratives. Given the topic, economy, to symbolic analysis and performance
Crapanzano ttingly takes the arts as evidence as studies, rituals have all too often been explained
well, addressing in passing modern dance, in terms of phenomena external to the ritual
Wordsworth, Navajo poetry, German Surrealism, itself. The usefulness of this book lies precisely
and Romantic landscape painting (to list in the serious attempt to transcend the
just a few). long-standing, even hegemonic, focus on ritual
Broad and insightful, the vast majority of as a representation of broader social and
these discussions and juxtapositions are quickly cultural orders.
sketched out in a purposefully inconclusive In his introduction, Don Handelman makes a
way the point is not to invalidate the strong case for making the inquiry into ritual
theoretical glosses on the ethnographic evidence forms the basis for a comparative endeavour
offered by the original reporter (although he orientated towards the integrity of ritual
does offer glancing critiques of a wide range of phenomena as phenomenal (p. 3). Mindful of
ethnographers and theorists, such as Victor the futility of searching for a singular denition
Tumer, Judith Butler, and Elaine Scarry as well that can encompass all rituals, Handelman treats
as Johann Gottfried von Herder and Georges ritual as a class of phenomena whose forms,
Bataille). Rather, the goal is to contrast how in greatly differing kind and degree, are
the stances towards the possibility of the characterized by interior complexity,
imagination found in these cultures, theories, self-integrity, and irreducibility to agent and
and works are xed or open. This larger environment (p. 10). A key argument is that the
discussion entails how, in these instances, the more complex rituals are in their interior
imaginative is either an object of longing or of constitution, the greater their self-organizing and
dread (or at times both), and hence is foreclosed self-sustaining capacities, and the greater their
or encouraged, and how in each instance this capacity to produce change through their own
constellation of sensibilities regarding the operations. Some of these ideas were introduced
imagination functions to shape the trajectory of in Models and mirrors: towards an anthropology of
further exercises of the imaginative faculty. public events (1990), but Handelmans thinking
There is a pleasure alone in reading each has since developed into a fully
of Crapanzanos chapters, and his erudite, phenomenological position.
open-ended, and often purposefully The authors of the nine substantive chapters
contradictory musings on these topics can well have responded in different ways to the
serve as a tonic to anyone interested in ways in challenge to discuss ritual in its own right and
which these topics could be fruitfully reframed; they are variously successful in their efforts to
those interested in phenomenological, push ritual studies beyond the limits of
psychoanalytic, hermeneutic, and existential representation. The two essays in the rst
approaches to anthropology will also nd section, Theorizing ritual: against
Crapanzanos virtuoso readings and critiques representation, against meaning, provide
rewarding. The true worth of this book, though, incisive critiques of canonical studies of ritual
is in bringing anthropological attention to a and suggest alternative ways of conceiving ritual
faculty which, despite the near ubiquity of the dynamics. Of special interest is Bruce Kapferers
term imagination in the social science theoretically savvy chapter on ritual dynamics in
literature, is rarely made the actual centre of a which he develops a notion of virtuality,
thorough discussion of its own. conceived as a self-contained imaginal space and
Jon Bialecki University of California, San Diego as a method for entering within the process of
reality formation. The very disjunction of the
world of rite from its larger context is, according
Handelman, Don & Galina Lindquist to Kapferer, the key to the continuing vitality of
(eds). Ritual in its own right. vii, 232 pp., illus., many rites. In his probing critique of
bibliogrs. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books, hermeneutic approaches to ritual, Don Seeman
2005. 15.00 (paper) notes that such approaches fail to confront the
radical alterity of pain as a dimension of human
This edited volume, full of new and original experience. The suggestion that Levinass
perspectives, makes an important contribution writings on the uselessness of suffering hints at

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Book reviews 689

a different phenomenology of ritual practice is reects on the interface between ritual and its
intriguing, and it will be interesting to see this social milieu, insisting that the self-organizing
argument developed more fully. qualities of rite work always through a ritual
In the section Experimenting with ritual, imaginary that gives them relative autonomy
Michael Houseman reects on an experiment in from their social surrounding. In sum, despite
which students were made to undergo a male the uneven quality of the contributions, this ne
initiation rite invented by the author himself. collection of essays is a challenging and
Given that the experiment was designed to provocative contribution to the study of ritual,
illustrate Housemans relational approach to and certainly one that ought to change the ways
ritual, readers will not be terribly surprised to in which anthropologists conceive of ritual.
learn that the efcacy of this ritual as with Kari Telle University of Bergen
ritual in general derived largely from the
relational entailments of the co-ordinate
interactions that it entailed. The discussion of Harper, Douglas & Helene M. Lawson
ritual condensation is lucid, and Housemans (eds). The cultural study of work. xviii, 481 pp.,
approach resonates with the editors call for tables, illus., bibliogrs. Oxford, New York:
making the interior organization of rituals the Rowman & Littleeld, 2003. 22.95 (paper)
prime locus and focus of study. The sole
contributor who rejects the claims of ritual in The cultural study of work accomplishes what
its own right is Andr Iteanu, who argues well-edited volumes do: it introduces the reader
persuasively that among Orokaiva peoples of to a coherent representation of a vast literature
New Guinea ritual is encompassed by exchange. and does so in accessible, useful ways. Editors
The essays in the sections on Ritual and Douglas Harper and Helene Lawson skillfully
emergence: historical and phenomenal and select and frame the contributions of
Healing in its Own Right: spirit worlds are of twenty-three authors in terms of the place they
more uneven quality. Pirosky Nagy provides a occupy in this nearly sixty-year-old sociological
rich historical analysis of medieval religious investigation of culture in US work worlds. What
weeping as an intimate ritual practised outside is unusual about the volume is the juxtaposition
of ecclesiastical control. Likewise, Galina of seminal scholarship from decades that may
Lindquists discussion of soul-retrieval rituals span thirty, forty, or even fty years. Their choice
practised in neo-shamanistic New Age circles to display the eld in this way corresponds
moves into subtle realms of experience, stressing clearly to the central mission of this volume as
how such rituals of the mind are vehicles for set out in the introduction. By emphasizing the
re-constituting the self. Whereas Lindquist ethnographic history of the study of work in
pushes for a greater focus on ritual imagination, sociology, the editors guide the reader to see
Sidney Greeneld adopts an entirely different how different themes have emerged as the social
approach in his account of healing rites context of the times has changed.
performed by Brazilian Kardecist-Spiritists. Nurtured rst at the Chicago School of
Finding that the participants enter into a Sociology, the analysis of work cultures had, by
trance-like state, Greenelds main concern is the 1950s, become an important area of study
to explain how hypnotherapy affects the within sociology. Studies of this time focused on
bio-physiology of patients by operating on the performers (like jazz musicians and teachers) in
cellular and even genetic level. Readers will learn relation to their audience, ideologies promoted
more about ritual dynamics from Andr by medical schools about future careers, and
Droogerss re-study of a 1970s Wagenia (Congo) teamwork strategies in restaurants or in
boys initiation ritual. Given the titles promise operating rooms. With the social movements of
to treat ritual in its own ludic right, I was the 1960s, critical studies of work appeared,
disappointed to nd play and spontaneity including research about police on skid row
addressed in terms of a cognitive approach (reprinted here) and social welfare agencies that
invoking a rudimentary version of connectionism rationalized their work (in the Weberian sense).
and the parallel processing of schemata. New concerns about deviant types of work
In the nal section, Philosophically (strippers, prostitutes) and deviance (theft, drug
speaking, Robert Innis looks critically at the late use) in normal work settings came to the fore
Roy Rappaports work, Ritual and religion in the in the 1970s, some of which is included here.
making of humanity (1999), offering a complex Hochschilds (1979) well-known work on airline
but rewarding discussion of tacit logic and stewardesses (reprinted here) introduced the
embodiment. In the epilogue, Handelman notion of emotion work, inspiring an important

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new stream of scholars to study how workers cross-cultural studies engaging the problems of
adapt to various emotional states that may be globalization and work. This volume points to
required of or suppressed by their work. the practical need for such parallel universes to
Not until the 1980s did gender become an intersect, to cross-fertilize, and multiply in
important focus within cultural studies of work, productive, new ways.
spurred by the expanding range of occupations Readers might wonder about the absence of
in which women began to be encouraged. any explicit discussion of theory as it has evolved
Increasing numbers of feminist scholars also among sociologists of work. Considering the
gave rise to new investigations about the historical approach of this volume, it would have
struggles of women trying to balance work and been a wonderful opportunity to review, even
family, as well as the difculties for those who briey, how the frames of analysis have shifted
perform domestic work and childcare for other over time alongside the shift in thematic
women. Contemporary studies of work are concerns.
revisiting many of the older, durable themes by The cultural study of work is an excellent
using new methods and new analyses. introduction to the eld, a pleasure to read, and
The editors concern with an historically with its organizational and editorial strength, a
informed scholarship of work shapes the entire volume that is likely to be of lasting value.
logic of the book. In each of the ve thematic Katherine E. Browne Colorado State University
sections, the authors provide orientating reviews
of the literature addressed in that section.
Part I, Work as social interaction, involves Kr amer, Karen L. Maya children: helpers at the
the ways in which social interaction exposes farm. xv, 254 pp., tables, gs, illus., bibliogr.
formal and informal work rules and permits vital London, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press,
communication and negotiation, all of which 2005. 22.95 (cloth)
may structure the environment and perception
of work. Part II, Socialization and identity, deals Over the past twenty years, interest in life history
with how people become socialized into various documenting the pace and timing of life
occupations; how identities that relate to work stages has become an increasingly important
are created and how they vary; and how the and productive framework guiding research on
subjective experience of work varies across human evolution and has highlighted an
different types of careers. important evolutionary puzzle: we have slow life
Part III, Experiencing work, encompasses histories, in particular long life spans and a long
chapters that detail the practical sub-adult period, but faster reproductive rates
accomplishment of various tasks, how emotions than our slow life history would predict. Human
are managed, and how time shapes the females have short interbirth intervals, bearing
experience of work in different settings. In Part offspring in quick succession; women regularly
IV, Work cultures and social structures, the get pregnant again before their weanlings are
editors introduce studies that address the nutritionally self-sufcient. As a result mothers
complex and contested meaning of blue-collar have multiple dependent offspring to feed and
work, professional work, and service care for over a long juvenile period. Researchers
occupations. This section is particularly are just beginning to address how much
interesting because of the signicant degree of offspring cost at different ages, how mothers
recent change in these denitions and categories meet these costs without compromising
of meaning. Finally, Part V is devoted to offspring survival, at what age children become
Deviance in work, a long-time focus in the self-sufcient, and why it takes them so long to
sociology of work. grow up. Karen Kramers book, Maya children:
The editors note that today, scholars devoted helpers at the farm, attempts to tackle some of
to the cultural study of work must attempt to these questions.
understand the forces of globalization are Kramer begins by laying out the co-operative
these forces eroding working conditions and job breeding hypothesis, that human mothers are
security? Are they changing ideas about work able to increase their reproductive rates because
itself? This concern, which is well known to they receive help. Weaned offspring require
anthropologists, exposes the unfortunate extent provisioning and caretaking and, unlike
of disciplinary disconnection across elds that lactation, those forms of help can be supplied by
are closely related sociology and individuals other than the mother. Kramer
anthropology. For scholars in the anthropology discusses two important denitional and
of work tradition, there are already dozens of methodological difculties surrounding helping

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behaviour. First, what exactly is help and how is Kramer initially highlighted in the book. First,
it measured? Second, what is the motivation for co-operative breeding specically focuses on the
another individual to help and how much help individual trade-offs that mothers, helpers, and
should they contribute? Kramer analyses the offspring face. Instead Kramer focuses on the
anatomy of help and suggests that the economic trade-offs that parents face, obscuring
relationship between childrens work and their the critical reproductive conicts of interest
parents fertility can be uncovered using models between the sexes that inuence caretaking
drawn from wealth ows theory. The books effort. Second, the models aggregate the
goal is to build a case about childrens helping production and consumption of all members in
behavior and the role that children play in a household, again concealing the different
subsidizing the cost of their parents continued trade-offs faced by each household member that
reproduction (p. 27). Kramers thesis is that as are especially important aspects of co-operative
children age, they become increasingly procient breeding. Third, a pivotal part of co-operative
at some skills but remain reliant on subsidies in breeding is about who cares for and provisions
other ways. Even though children maintain a net dependants. While Kramer briey summarizes in
economic decit until their teenage years, chapter 6 the time children spend participating
Kramer argues that their particular economic in childcare activities, she deliberately excludes
contributions reduce the costs they impose on childcare from her production and consumption
their parents. Parents then reallocate that energy calculations. This omission underscores how
to continued childbearing and support wealth ows and co-operative breeding models
additional dependants. Thus, children are constructed from different, and often
themselves provide the help required for divergent, theoretical platforms.
co-operative breeding. Maya children summarizes Kramers excellent
Kramer tests this prediction using doctoral and post-doctoral work on household
observational and demographic data she economics with clear methodological guidance
collected during the early 1990s from an for future ethnography. Her attempt to place
agricultural population of Xculoc Maya living in wealth ows models in a co-operative breeding
the Yucatan, Mexico. She devotes several framework should stimulate future research
chapters to describing the ecology and focused on the differences between these two
demography of her study group and her important theoretical perspectives.
quantitative observational data collection Shannen L. Robson University of Utah
methods. Her systematic approach provides an
excellent template for rigorous ethnographic
research in the eld that will be especially Nuijten, Monique. Power, community and the
valuable for graduate students. The soundness state: the political anthropology of organisation in
of her quantitative data assures their value for Mexico. x, 227 pp., maps, tables, bibliogr.
future comparative analyses. London, Sterling: Pluto Press, 2003. 50.00
In the last section of her book Kramer utilizes (cloth), 15.99 (paper)
wealth ows theory to analyse and interpret
Mayan household economics. Wealth ows Monique Nuijtens Power, community and the
models are designed to assess parents state is an excellent ethnography and a
reproductive decisions by measuring the transfer signicant contribution to a rich and increasingly
of resources and labour across generations. sophisticated literature on local rural politics in
This approach attempts to capture the cost Mexico. Located in a land reform community
of children from the parents time budget (ejido), it examines the practices of local power
perspective (p. 139). Kramer begins by and patterns of organization which characterize
examining how children spend their time and relations between holders of land rights
nds that they begin to participate in household (ejidatarios) and agrarian bureaucrats. Nuijten
domestic work as early as the age of 3 and their argues for a multi-sited and fragmented view of
economic contributions increase as they get power against top-down perspectives and an
older. Because individuals at different ages have over-reliance on caciqual (political bossism)
different consumption and production proles, models of regional power relations, and uses an
Kramer argues that the age composition of a analysis happily unencumbered by routine
family has important effects on parental fertility. assumptions about the way clientelism works, or
By the end of the last section it is clear that by normative views on the negative role of
wealth ows models do not address many of the corruption which disguise the instrumentality
important co-operative breeding questions that and the meaning of corrupt practices.

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An account of village dynamics since the (p. 187), or that state intervention routinely
agrarian reform reveals shifting loyalities and privileges such networks, with divisive effects
alliances; while kinship relations remain (p. 198), this begs closer consideration of the
important, neither they nor party afliation strategic nature of these forms of intervention
determines stable factions within the and their instrumentality in reproducing unequal
community. Access to land is central and while relations of power. (There is some underplaying
it is widely recognized that ejidal land rental, of the signicance of the Mexican political
sale, and inheritance issues have regularly system as a one-party state, until the ruling PRI
departed from agrarian law and instead reected nally lost the presidential elections in 2000
local relations of power, few studies have offered not in 1997, as stated on pages 153, 206, and
such insights into the establishment of 209, n. 3). While the nature and logic of these
alternative procedures and the re-invention of relations are clearly portrayed, a sense of the
governmental techniques which give the intentionality of power is missing.
ejidatarios considerable autonomy and security A commitment to showing how ejidatarios
(p. 90). evade state power and carve out spaces of
Nuijten argues that while modernist autonomy within force elds that hegemonic
organization perspectives would characterize the projects are neither coherent nor successful
conduct of affairs in the ejido as messy and rather neglects the effects of attempts to inscribe
non-transparent, her practice approach to them. In this, the analysis is reminiscent of James
organization shows patterning and ordering of Scotts Weapons of the weak (1985). Only right
practice in gaining access to resources. at the end is there a brief discussion of recent
Moreover, organizing through personal changes in Mexican politics, yet attempts to
networks and attempting to resolve issues establish neo-liberal hegemony involved
through corrupt transactions enables people to signicant reconstruction of the Mexican
evade state intervention and control (p. 187), national project and the position of ejidatarios
while the idea of the state is reproduced within it, and were accompanied by a
through expectations, imaginings of conspiracy, considerable degree of coercive force. The
the fetishization of ofcial documents, and the broader context of the changes to agrarian law
ght against corruption itself. discussed in chapter 7 the effective
A long-standing land dispute reveals privatization of ejidal land tenure thus
ejidatarios in a constant search for the right represented not only a new way of governing,
intermediary, while agrarian bureaucrats are but also the transformation of ejidatarios from
eager to present themselves as such, in return social to entrepreneurial producers in an
for payment and reafrmation of their status; attempt to inscribe neo-liberal normativity; this
both parties are implicated in the logic of the was one of a range of neo-liberal policy
system. Nuijten notes that while intermediaries initiatives which have decimated the ejidal sector
might be expected to ll the gap between local and both changed and strongly reinforced the
and higher levels (p. 5), what stood out here constraints within which evasion and autonomy
was the lack of effective intermediaries: despite are sought. From this perspective, the
investment in a succession of right hope-generating machine works to reproduce
intermediaries, the ejidatarios case remains depoliticization and subordination.
unresolved. Here Nuijten develops an interesting Kathy Powell National University of Ireland,
argument about how political cynicism and Galway
hope co-exist despite repeated experience of
disappointment, through a discussion of the
state bureaucracy as a hope-generating Ramnarine, Tina K. Ilmatars inspirations:
machine (paraphrasing James Fergusons nationalism, globalization, and the changing
Anti-politics machine, 1990); gaps are never lled soundscapes of Finnish folk music. xxii, 262 pp.,
but keep people moving in the hope that this map, illus., musical notation, bibliogr. London,
time, they will be. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press, 2003. 17.00
The book displays the strengths of a localist (paper)
perspective, and arguably some of its
weaknesses; there is some neglect of the broader For Tina Ramnarine, Ilmatar, mother of
processes within which these dynamics are Vinminen, the musician-hero of the Finnish
embedded. Since, within the bureaucratic national epic Kalevala, continues to inspire
machine, it is so systematically the case that it is music-making and musical change. This is
only rational to pursue personalistic networks important because it reveals continuities in the

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aesthetic and ideological representation of South and recasting notions of musical


Finnishness: Ilmatars inspirations were homogenization through her ethnographies of
instrumental in the musical construction of a musical agency. Finally, she brings a musical
mythical national past and continue to shape dimension to some mainstream approaches to
the global soundscapes of Finnish new folk the anthropology of Europe: interest in the
music (uusikansanmusiikki ). In examining the ethnography of institutions and the state,
construction of musical boundaries, post-socialist change and European integration,
appropriation, the transformative power of transnationalism, migration, and diasporic
musical borrowings, and creative hegemonies identities.
as well as musical multiplicity and uidity in Ilmatars inspirations is based on eldwork
identity formation (p. 23) both historically and that Ramnarine did in the early 1990s, primarily
ethnographically, Ramnarine uses the apparent in the Folk Music Department at the Sibelius
contradiction of new folk music to make one of Academy in Helsinki and the village of
her central claims: Finnish folk music emerges Kaustinen, the site of an important folk music
within the homogeneous space and time of the festival. The book is divided into three parts, the
nation, and nationalist ideologies distinguish rst dealing with theoretical and historical
our music from their music. Thus, the perspectives, the second with ethnographies of
newness of new folk music registers the new folk music performance and transmission,
persistence of nationalist ideologies as well as and the third with the alignment of new folk
creative, intercultural, deterritorializing music and the world music industry.
processes of musical borrowings from a global Throughout, Ramnarine represents Finnish folk
sphere (p. 202). music as a mediation of Ostrobothnian
As Ramnarine amply demonstrates, these (primarily instrumental) and Karelian (primarily
borrowings are nothing new. At least since the vocal) traditions that originated in nineteenth-
creation of the Kalevala and the advent of Finnish and early twentieth-century nationalism and
nationalism in the nineteenth century, Finnish were revived in the 1960s. New folk music,
national music has drawn upon Western Ramnarine shows, emerged in the late 1980s and
(Germanic), Eastern (Slavic), and other early 1990s as the result of individual musical
Finno-Ugrian traditions. Today, these borrowings choices, the accelerating circulation and
extend to Saami, Roma, West African, and exchange of music and musicians within Finland
Cuban music, not to mention the well-known as well as globally, and the intervention of the
phenomenon of Finnish tango. Thus, if Finnish state. In her ethnographies, Ramnarine gives
folk music emerged in the nineteenth century so pride of place to the musicians making those
that a Finnish national identity could be choices and in so doing meaningfully connects
asserted in relation to Finlands immediate changes in Finnish society and culture to
neighbors (p. 43), Finnish new folk music, changes in musical sound.
involved as it is with issues of ownership, That said, I wonder if Ilmatars inspirations
commodication, and copyright, shows how might have beneted from a deeper
musical processes within musical practices engagement with the literature on
labeled national which involve musical cosmopolitanism as a way of further overcoming
multiplicity and turning to traditions beyond the limits of conceiving of both folk music as
national boundaries, emphasize the point that national expression and ethnomusicology
the nation is not a site of musical homogeneity as the study of music in place (p. 215).
(pp. 195-6). Furthermore, Ramnarine often equates
In moving beyond the truism that music borrowings from Estonian, Seto, Mari, and other
styles are hybrid, Ramnarine accomplishes a Finno-Ugrian music with borrowings from
great deal. She connects the activities of earlier Cuban or Senegalese music, for instance. These
nationalizing elites like Ilmari Krohn, Armas Otto are surely different, one having to do with
Visnen, Elias Lnnrot, and Jean Sibelius to the Finno-Ugrianism and the other with certain
creative work of Finnish new folk musicians like music industry expectations. At the same time,
Vrttin and JPP as they negotiate global markets both are not only borrowings but
and aesthetics. She resituates long-standing appropriations, and I feel that Ramnarine could
ethnomusicological concern with European folk consider the asymmetries and hegemonies
music and the nation in the context of global inherent in these processes in greater depth.
musical change and the world music industry, Finally, I am curious about how the politics of
brining full circle the musical construction of multiculturalism in Finland relate to new folk
difference between West and East and North and music, especially as Russian-language education

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is being emphasized in Karelia and Somalis who believe that the only solution for the social
struggle to make a home in Helsinki. These ills of aboriginal people is for them to assimilate
passing criticisms notwithstanding, Ilmatars to the Canadian majority, and thus make the
inspirations makes an important contribution to extinguishment of their traditional lifeways a fait
the ethnomusicological and anthropological accompli. Samsons long-term commitment (his
literature and comes highly recommended. work began in 1994) to exposing the Innu
Jeffers Engelhardt Amherst College political situation is apparent in his frank
discussion of these issues of such tragic scope.
Samsons book proceeds by focusing each
Samson, Colin. A way of life that does not chapter on how a different Euro-Canadian
exist: Canada and the extinguishment of the institution has been imposed upon a people
Innu. 388 pp., maps, gs, illus., bibliogr. who have never signed a treaty or given their
London, New York: Verso, 2003. 16.00 permission to be ruled by the Canadian state.
(cloth) Whether it is through housing, education, legal
practice, religion, or health, the Canadian
Samsons treatise on the living conditions of the government has assumed that it has authority
Innu of the communities of Sheshatshiu and over the lives of the Innu. Each chapter could be
Utshimassits (Davis Inlet, Labrador, Canada) is a read separately as a case study of an imposed
timely and well-warranted appraisal of the institution on aboriginal lifeways, with chapter 6
treatment of Aboriginal people within Canadas on education and chapter 9 on justice standing
liberal democracy. While written by a sociologist, out as particularly demonstrative discussions
this book makes a valuable contribution to of the issues at hand. However, in order to
anthropology by providing an apt example of appreciate fully Samsons argument that political
the effects of colonial assimilationist policies on extinguishment works at multiple levels, the
Indigenous societies. Furthermore, the writing is book needs to be read as a whole. He establishes
clear and makes use of personal observations that the imposition of institutions is maintained
and narratives intertwined with theory to create through the evolutionary assumptions of the
an argument accessible to anthropologists. terra nullius doctrine of Canadian legal title, and
The living conditions of the Innu of Davis that each of these institutions has been forced
Inlet rst came to the worlds attention in the on the Innu for their own good so that they
1990s when the media began reporting on might progress and enjoy the benets of being
epidemic levels of substance abuse and suicide Canadian. In response, as far as the Canadian
among Innu youth. Newspapers and call-in state is concerned, the only price for this
television and radio shows were lled with progress is the extinguishment of their
shocked Canadians trying to rationalize how it aboriginal rights.
was that Canada had neglected or forgot about While I question Samsons assertion that the
these people living in such a remote place and Innu have only recently undergone the types of
trying to gure out how the Innu could allow radical changes to their lifeways that other North
themselves to live in such deplorable American aboriginal groups have had to endure
conditions. At the time I was working with for centuries, I am convinced by the argument
aboriginal elders in an area of the north on the that the attempts by the Canadian state to
other side of the country, who were concerned extinguish aboriginal title works on at least two
about the effects of studies on deviance in levels. At the surface, which receives the lions
northern communities on academic and popular share of attention by Canadians, extinguishment
conceptions of northern lifeways. I was therefore is about the politics of land, resources, and
also concerned that Davis Inlet might become a money. At a deeper level, as Samson carefully
testing ground for what these elders considered describes, there is cultural extinguishment an
to be a multitude of predatory social science extinguishment of jurisdiction and autonomy.
studies relegating aboriginal people to data. Samson argues that the disturbing images of the
Samsons book provides an antidote for such living conditions of the Innu need to be
studies. His analysis of political extinguishment understood in light of the interplay between
places the Innus social problems within a these levels. As Innu attempt to nd some room
context that answers the questions that many to resist the extinguishment of their political and
Canadians were asking. Furthermore, it expands economic lives, they nd that the Canadian
the examination beyond these initial questions state and its agents hold authority over the
to the issues that Canadians were not facing, institutions which would give them the
forming the basis for an argument against those autonomy to do so effectively, and these

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institutions are working under the assumption Language ideologies offer valuable
that the Innu do not, or should not, exist. Under perspectives on these differences. In all four
these conditions, social problems can only be countries teachers promote the national
understood not by asking how people can language, but with different rationales. In
allow themselves to live like this but with a Britain, all languages are valid as elements of
radical questioning of the assumptions upon community culture and Englishs only professed
which Canadian policies towards Aboriginal advantage is instrumental. In the other three
peoples are based (p. 340). Asking these countries, pupils are expected to speak the
questions is important for any anthropological national languages for additional reasons as
study of the relationship between aboriginal well: as how one becomes French, or as
people and the Canadian state, and I necessary for participating in Dutch or German
recommend this book for having done so. civic culture.
Robert P. Wishart University of Aberdeen The last section looks at how teachers and
pupils resolve conicts. Fine-grained contrasts
between Dutch and German cases are
Schiffauer, Werner, Gerd Baumann, Riva particularly instructive because the two societies
Kastoryano & Steven Vertovec (eds). Civil are relatively similar. German ideas of national
enculturation: nation-state, school and ethnic belonging are more clearly exclusive of
difference in the Netherlands, Britain, Germany and immigrants than is the case for the Dutch, but
France. viii, 360 pp., bibliogr. Oxford, New York: teachers erect us/them boundaries in both
Berghahn Books, 2004. 50.00 (cloth), 16.95 classrooms. One particularly instructive contrast
(paper) involves Turkish pupils invoking Islam as the
normative basis for an argument. Both German
The collaborative research reported here asks to and Dutch teachers deem the reference
what extent pupils studying in multi-ethnic inappropriate but for different reasons: in
public schools in four northern European Germany because referring to Islam ipso facto
countries adopt the dominant model of cultural indicates insufciently independent thinking by
pluralism. The editors acted as supervisors for the pupil, but in the Netherlands because the
research carried out by four other scholars in pupil thereby took insufcient account of other
four public schools, but authors and supervisors students views.
visited each others school sites and discussed In two brilliant nal chapters, Sabine Mannitz
the contrasts among themselves. Together, they draws on classroom conversations to highlight
seek to discover the everyday manifestations of each countrys internal contradictions between
what they call civil culture, or the competence cultural ideas of national belonging and formal
to operate successfully in social life and with requirements of citizenship. Exchanges among
respect to the state. The result is German and Turkish pupils point to the conict
ethnographically perceptive and analytically between the postulate that immigrants should
sophisticated. culturally assimilate to German culture and the
In the rst section of the book, the authors claim that everyone should be allowed to
build up portraits of civil enculturation through preserve a private sphere of distinct culture.
a series of contrasts: in school buildings, in ways They also show a German propensity to draw
of teaching national history and cultural boundaries that exclude some categories of
differences, and in the place religion occupies in people in order to include others: pupils argue
the curriculum. This expository strategy works over where to draw these boundaries but they
well in building up a sense of the overall agree they should be drawn. Dutch and British
country contrasts. For example, we learn how inclusive notions of multiculturalism, by
Dutch belief in the validity of cultural differences contrast, permit Turkish pupils to claim that they
and their doubt as to whether newcomers can t may retain Turkish identity while becoming
in leads Dutch teachers to focus on universal culturally equal citizens of Britain or the
ethics rather than cultural difference, because Netherlands. In neither country, however, do
references to ethics allows criticism of natives practise the inclusiveness that they
immigrants values without claiming that Dutch preach. The resentment at this contradiction is
culture is superior. By contrast, British teachers greater in the Dutch than in the British school
claim that pluralism denes Britain and in the because the contradiction runs deeper in the
classroom they celebrate cultural and religious Netherlands. French ideology is the only one
differences. The differences are visible on school that directs pupils to ignore cultural differences,
walls, school texts, and in school life. and it is only in the French case that pupils do

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696 Book reviews

not seem to have taken on the dominant model emphasizes the meaningful experience of actors
of cultural differences in the ways they speak. (more) than other terms like entrepreneur or
The French model seems to be the least capable family business. They admit, however, some
of absorbing everyday perceptions of difference. analytical limitations: petty capitalists operate on
One might object to the studys the boundaries between capital and labour,
methodology: how can a small number of co-operation and exploitation, family and
observations in one school per country allow the economy, tradition and modernity, friends and
team to describe four distinct civil cultures? I competitors. This raises the question whether
found the claims wholly convincing, and I the petty capitalist concept is a useful analytical
believe that I did so because (1) they resonate concept and whether this approach really helps
with so much other evidence about each of the to understand the phenomenon of micro and
four countries, (2) the authors tried to control small enterprises.
for variation on other dimensions as much as The book is based also on a proposition
possible (and are quite open about how difcult concerning the future of petty capitalism. The
this is), and (3) the authors are all distinguished proposition is that petty capitalists benet from
scholars on these questions in these countries; globalization in an era where assembly lines are
we trust their insights. The result is a truly deconstructed and scattered across the globe,
innovative approach to contrasting ideas and and where rapid and exible responses to
practices of building civil cultures. desires can make the difference between
John Bowen Washington University economic success and failure. In fact this is a
hypothesis which needs to be rejected or
accepted after presenting the evidence in the ten
Smart, Alan & Josephine Smart (eds). Petty empirical chapters. This rst hypothesis is later
capitalists and globalization: flexibility, formulated as: petty capitalists have moved from
entrepreneurship, and economic development. 317 trying to survive to participating in the global
pp., map, tables, bibliogr. Albany: SUNY Press, economy. The authors also see petty capitalists
2005. $70.00 (cloth) as driving forces of the contemporary global
economy. They assume that when the conditions
This book brings together a series of papers are made more attractive, petty capitalists may
applying the petty capitalism concept to be among the pioneers in taking advantage of
enterprises in developing countries and countries globalization. This seems a second hypothesis
in transition. The editors dene petty capitalists which needs to be tested.
on page 3 as individuals or households who Let us look at the different contributions and
employ a small number of workers but are see what evidence these cases provide for the
themselves actively involved in the labor process. different hypotheses. All authors use the same
More in line with the modes of production methodological approach and analytical
debate, they dene petty capitalists on the framework. Two of the twelve chapters are not
following page as an intermediate category, written by anthropologists and two chapters are
bounded by petty producers and subsistence more theoretical. In the last chapter Michael Blim
producers, on one side, and by real capitalists on discusses the moral signicance of petty
the other. This implies that a decline in fortunes capitalism: it provides an alternative to societies
may result in proletarianization or dominated by gigantic corporations. Similarly, in
improverishment, because petty capitalists chapter 2 Hill Gates looks to relations between
become petty or subsistence producers. petty capitalists and the surrounding political
Where should we draw the line between economies. She argues that there are ve
petty capitalists and small and medium variants of petty capitalism: the domestic mode
enterprises? On page 7 it is suggested that the of production, petty capitalism under the
small enterprises to which Piore and Sabel refer tributary modes, proto-industrialization, petty
in The second industrial divide (1984) are petty bourgeoisies, and the informal economy. This
capitalists. Until that book came out these petty distinction is not used in the rest of the book,
producers were mostly seen as threatened however. The editors provide a lengthy
with extinction, but regional ensembles of introduction and the two geographers
interconnected small rms reliant on artisanship contribute a chapter on Slovakia and one on
could become increasingly important in Taiwan. Adrian Smith studied petty capitalists in
comparison to mass production. Slovakia under the title Capitalism from below?
The editors prefer an ethnographic approach This is more a political economy type of analysis.
to the concept of petty capitalists. This approach Jinn-yuh Hsus contribution on networks in small

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Book reviews 697

and medium enterprises in Taiwanese against whom the Malaysian state dened its
semiconductor industries shows that such development policies. Nonini argues that the
networks tend to be based on classmates and transformations of the petty capitalists in
friends rather than kin. Malaysia have been connected to policies for
In chapter 3 Gavin Smith and Susana different groups of the Malaysian population.
Narotzky analyse an effective networked cluster The last chapters discuss the importance of
of small enterprises in Spain, using the industrial labour standards and the solutions of labelling
district jargon. They take a historical approach (Tom ONeill for Nepal) or of fair trade (B. Lynne
and consider the regional economy that they Milgram in the Philippines). ONeill considers
studied as an embedded regional economy the sector around carpet export as petty
where labour is mobilized as dependent capitalist, and sees exible specialization as the
workers. The workers are often female context for petty capitalist expansion as
home-workers. The authors conclude that the investment in labour cost is reduced by
regional economy is made up of strategizing decentralized micro production. Milgram
petty capitalists and entrepreneurial workers describes the example of female petty capitalists
sharing a common local culture. who have entered the global craft market on
In chapter 4 Frances Abrahamer Rothstein their own terms by forging linkages with
deals with the issue of exibility in the garment alternative trade organizations (fair trade).
industry in Mexico. She considers the The study shows an enormous variety of
importance of having access to family and skilled petty capitalists. The editors noted already on
labour and uses the term petty commodity page 6 that even less than capitalism itself, petty
producers for the class position of those who capitalism is not always the same kind of entity
are simultaneously capitalists and workers. She or process. Most contributors use the term, but
ends on a pessimistic note, saying that they refer to very different types of enterprises as
producers will end up working harder or will far as size and history are concerned. Some of
be driven out of business by others. these are based on family relations, some are
Simone Ghezzi studies the importance of not. Some are modern, some are traditional, and
de-territorialization in Brianza versus locality in some are based on family (sometimes exploited),
an industrial district in Italy. She nds an others on friends. If that is the case, one
industrial district with many small rms, mostly wonders what the distinguishing characteristics
family-run businesses. Some of those started as of the petty capitalist concept are. Not all small
artisans and became petty capitalists in due enterprises are petty capitalist. In that case it
course. Ghezzi describes the dilemma of many makes more sense to start with a certain size
of these petty capitalist producers. They cannot denition (micro, small, etc.) and study the
hire workers and have no money to invest. At characteristics in different situations.
the same time, she discovers that many try to Subsequently the process of change, for
build their own business out of faith in loyalty. example through globalization, can be studied.
Although Ghezzi uses the term petty capitalists, That would make the results much more
she is really talking about small rms functioning comparable with all kinds of studies carried out
in a capitalist environment. by geographers, sociologists, and economists.
Hans and Judith-Maria Buechler refer to small There are a number of interesting chapters in
and medium enterprises in Eastern Germany. the book. For example, Hsus concerning the
However, some of the units studied are small, development of the semiconductor industries in
others large or parts of larger companies. The Taiwan and the importance there of classmates
authors focus on the trajectories of specic rms and friends in networks, rather than kin.
to predict the future success of rms under Secondly, some authors make clear that
capitalism in the European Community. In their globalization means respecting international
contribution the authors do not use the term standards, which often requires brokerage for
petty capitalists. small entrepreneurs. Also the emphasis on
Donald M. Nonini calls his chapter Toward exploitation of family workers in small
a (proper) postwar history of Southeast enterprises is relatively new. Finally, the
Asian petty capitalism. In fact he analyses in contributions show the many faces of capitalism
particular the role of the state in Malaysias by using ethnography as a method. The book
industrialization process. He goes deeper into teaches us the diversity of economic systems and
the role of Chinese small business capital in their path dependency.
Malaysia and argues that Chinese petty However, the book is also a typical example
capitalists became the antagonistic other of monodisciplinary (anthropological) thinking

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698 Book reviews

with no efforts to catch up with what other interact as stereotyped personages rather than
disciplines have said on the subject of micro as individuals, and the symbolism denies that
enterprises, value chains, innovation, and exchange has taken place, with the result that
competitiveness. In the 1970s economists the ascetic recipient remains free of social ties to
thought multinationals were causing the giver. Another key Jain ritual, one in which
globalization. In the value chain approach, these much of the symbolism of mendicant-lay
multinationals only mobilize the chain, which relationships is compressed into a single
may be fed by small and medium enterprises. package, is the rite of initiation of monks and
What is new is that some chains (e.g. shoe nuns. Especially striking is the symbolic
production in India) seem to be mainly small juxtaposition of wealth and possessionlessness in
enterprise-driven. That does not prove, however, this ritual. As Vallely shows, the jewellery and
that petty capitalists are now really important in luxurious dress of the young women candidates
these chains. That would require graduation and for nunhood make the all-important point that
formalization, or brokers mediating between the world renunciation is meaningless if it is a virtue
local and international markets. Hence the cases made of necessity.
presented do not show the usefulness of the Beliefs about demonic possession bring
terminology used, nor can they be considered to gender differences among Jain mendicants into
lead to the acceptance of the two major sharp focus. Vallelys materials show that
hypotheses. possession absolves the possessed individual of
Meine Pieter van Dijk Erasmus University in inappropriate feelings by projecting them onto
Rotterdam another entity, and that sexual longings gure
prominently among these feelings in the case of
Jain nuns. Because of their allegedly more
Vallely, Anne. Guardians of the transcendent: emotional nature, nuns are seen as more
an ethnography of a Jain ascetic community. 296 vulnerable to possession than monks. On the
pp., plates, g., bibliogr. London, Toronto: Univ. other hand (and in apparent contradiction),
Toronto Press, 2002. 45.00 (cloth), 18.00 nuns are seen as sexually desireless, unlike
(paper) monks, who by contrast acknowledge and even
celebrate the difculty of conquering their sexual
To what degree do the roles of worldly social life desires. This means that nuns have no recourse
carry over into the monastic world? And, more but to sublimate such desires radically into
specically, to what extent and in what ways fantasies about ghosts and demons.
do worldly gender roles project into The Terapanthi monastic community is rigidly
world-renouncers lives? Anne Vallely addresses hierarchical and centrally controlled. As Vallely
these questions in a study of nuns belonging to shows, hierarchical values lend themselves well
the non-image-worshipping Terapanthi sect of to an intense devotionalism focused on
the Shvetambar Jains. Her research was veneration of ones spiritual superiors, and
conducted over a period of slightly more than although devotionalism is devalued by Jainisms
one year at Ladnun, a Rajasthani town that public face, with its stress on ascetic values
serves as a sectarian epicentre for the alone, devotion often strongly motivates people
Terapanthis. During this year she was in intimate to adopt the ascetic path and undertake ascetic
and prolonged contact with nuns and girls practices. This brings us back to gender, because
preparing to be nuns, and the resulting book nuns tend to be seen (and to see themselves) as
provides an empirically rich and analytically more inclined to devotionalism than the monks,
innovative window into a lifeway of which in turn connects to stereotypes of
extraordinary restriction and discipline. womens emotional and nurturing proclivities.
Jain ethics and cosmology set Vallelys stage. From the standpoint of the traditions public
In the foreground are non-violence and values, this places nuns in a subordinate and
asceticism, which together underlie a distinction liminal position, never completely disentangled
at the heart of Vallelys materials and analysis: from the worldly realm. Even their ascetic
the contrast between the worldly (laukik) and practice is regarded as not fundamentally
the transcendental (lokottar). She shows how this different from the practices of religiously serious
distinction is idealized in the opposed images of laywomen. For the monks, by contrast, the
generous householder and restrained ascetic, rupture is seen as much greater, because laymen
images that are ritually enacted in almsgiving, a express piety largely by means of generous
core transaction in the religious life of Jain giving, not ascetic denial. Because of this, male
communities. In almsgiving, giver and recipient renunciation is thus more highly valued than

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Book reviews 699

that of nuns. Still, from the standpoint of the rendition is energized by non-elite voices and
traditions highest values, renunciation is about the book is composed of nothing but
release of the soul from worldly bondage, and memories, as the authors put it.
this is as true of women as it is of men. Since memory is the predominant resource,
These arguments are illustrated and a chapter is devoted to thinking and doing
supported by excellent ethnography that memory. Here arguments that treat memory as
resonates with the spirit of friendship that Vallely material traces, performative actions, an
clearly developed with many of her informants. autonomous arena and as both individually and
She is particularly adroit at making use of socially experienced are discussed as a
ethnographic vignettes as points of departure foreground to the substantive account of rule as
into important issues. One of many examples is experienced in the princely era. The themes in
her description of the nuns preparation for a the following chapters are denoted by
leading monks birthday celebration that she single-word titles (Shoes, Courts, Homes,
then uses as an opening for a crucial discussion Fields, Jungle and Imports) that gather
of Jain devotionalism. I commend the book to memories and events evoked in recall.
students of South Asian religions, whether or not Transcripts of interviews are reproduced along
their special interest is Jainism, and to anyone with comments by the authors.
interested in the role of women in ascetic The rule-of-the-shoe (and a nuanced
traditions. language about when to wear them and take
Lawrence A. Babb Amherst College them off as well as shoe-beatings) expressed the
hierarchies of rulers over subjects in the
memories of the inhabitants. If shoe-beatings
decimated ones honour, acts of resistance
History and anthropology sustained it. Forced labour, oppressive grain
taxes (different for each caste), and prohibitions
(on wearing shoes or riding horse-back, for
Gold, Ann Grodzins & Bhoju Ram instance) come to the fore in many a retelling of
Gujar. In the time of trees and sorrows: nature, the court as actor. Women remembered the
power, and memory in Rajasthan. xxv, 403 pp., pre-dawn hours as the time for grinding our,
illus., bibliogr. London, Durham, N.C.: Duke including grinding grain for the kings horses.
Univ. Press, 2002. 18.50 (paper) Carrying cots and delivering re-wood to the
castle were recurrent chores undertaken by
This book recounts perspectives of life as it was peasants during this era. Trees growing in the
lived by subjects not rulers in the former elds could not be lopped, and the collection of
kingdom of Sawar in Rajasthan (India). It is an the rulers share of the harvest was an event
outcome of a collaboration between a US-based dreaded by the farmers. They could not cut the
cultural anthropologist and a schoolteacher who crops till the harvest was estimated, and the
is a resident of this region. Bhoju Ram Gujar is kings men took an inordinately long time in
not a shadowy research assistant here but a carrying out the task. The wild pigs that the king
co-author in the shaping of this work. In this hunted could not be killed by the farmers even
sense, the study breaks from existing, though though they ravaged their elds.
increasingly questioned, ethnographic Not surprisingly, then, the demise of the
conventions. kingdom itself was spoken about as a time when
Drawing on the oral histories of inhabitants, pigs who damaged crops could be hunted
the authors narrate a tale of conjoined natural without fear of reprisals. Under the new
and social transformations spanning the period democratic dispensation, described as the
from the 1920s to the 1990s. Much of the rule-of-the-vote, trees were felled as the pursuit
information was obtained in the process of of self-interest was unchecked.
enquiring into deforestation in this area. The Archival documents pertaining to the feudal
leitmotif of princely rule, despotic but era scarcely focus on everyday objects such as
coterminous with an abundance of indigenous shoes and grinding stones. Practices that are
ora and fauna, runs through the book. inter-semiotic between the domestic and feudal
The study is envisaged as a contribution to domains are articulated in relation to these
scholarship at the intersections of nature (the everyday objects in this bottom-up account of
term being retained not for accuracy but for rule. Small voices are indeed magnied, giving
ambiguity, complexity and uncertainty), rise to a thick recounting of events that one does
subaltern consciousness, and memory. The not otherwise encounter. What I treasure from

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700 Book reviews

this anthropological listening and telling is its post-colonial period. The colonys hegemony
illumination of what is not captured in accounts was rooted in and maintained by violence.
of the regions history that are based on The exercise of violence dehumanized the
settlement reports. colonial subject. To soften notions of
On the other hand, when I compare the commandement, the colonialists engaged in a
recounting of feudal taxation here with a civilizing mission to give the native a moral
conventional understanding of the regions education. However, the ultimate aim was to
history culled from revenue records, I am struck acquire his/her labour (p. 27).
by how the rich detail lls out an already The emergence of the entrepreneurial class
existing outline without changing its contours. around cash crops reected growing inequality
While the authors argue for multiple truths, their in African colonies, which was predicated on the
effort speaks more directly to similar statements incorporation of these crops and mineral
that populate the narrative. The several resources into the world economy. This class
conversations reported are rarely conicting. played a key role in the indigenization of the
Moreover, allowing a small voice to the Sawar state.
rulers family would perhaps have extended the Although the post-colonial ruler was not a
range of polyvocal narration to those who have total dictator, he did not hesitate to use violence,
been eclipsed in this story. An account from silence dissidence, vanquish rebellions, or to
below may be as limiting as an account from stage coups dtat (pp. 42-3). Some dictators
above when meanings and subjectivities are engaged in redistribution of resources; however,
forged and negotiated in the twists of on the whole, living conditions have not
interconnections. improved in the post-colonial period, especially
Rita Brara University of Delhi since the scal crisis of the 1980s and the
implementation of structural adjustment
programmes (SAPs). SAPs often required
reductions in price supports, in the civil service,
Mbembe, Achille. On the postcolony. 274 pp., and in social programmes, and privatization of
illus., bibliogr. London, Berkeley: Univ. California parastatals. This has resulted in challenges to
Press, 2001. 29.95 (cloth), 10.95 (paper) state structures in Congo, Somalia, Sierra Leone,
and Liberia (p. 49). Most of the continent has a
On the postcolony analyses the phenomenology lack of access to new technologies, thereby
and political economy of the African continent, exacerbating the lag between the computer time
with a focus on francophone West Africa. At of global nancial operations and the historic
present, Africans are grappling with the imposed time of real adjustments (p. 53).
neo-liberal notions of good governance, civil In the post-colony, there is an atomism in
society, conict resolution, and transitions to power and decision-making, with conditions
democracy. Mbembe emphasizes the being ripe for what the author calls private
elementariness and primitiveness that makes indirect government throughout the continent.
Africa the world par excellence of all that is This is characterized by barter in a cash
incomplete, mutilated, and unnished, its history economy, the formalization of the informal
reduced to a series of setbacks of nature in its economy, and the replacement of salaries with
quest for humankind (p. 1). He criticizes the one-off payments, in which corruption is the
social sciences, particularly anthropology, for a norm (pp. 82-4).
lack of engagement, resulting in representations Mbembe invokes phallic symbolism to
of Africa that are groundless assertions. African describe the colonial experience in the
scholars are viewed as being torn between subjugation, domination, and dehumanization
tradition and modernity. Mbembe uses of men, women, and children. There are further
grotesque imagery, and cartoons, to characterize implications for the exploitation and extraction
the absurd in the African post-colonial of Africas human, agricultural, and mineral
experience. resources. The ruler is mythologized and
Mbembe advances the position that it was phallicized, his international image is
the slave trade that thrust Africa into modernity. exaggerated, and he is granted large public
He suggests that the colonial period, following displays of respect to his personage in the
on the heels of the slave trade, was characterized post-colonial context.
by phallic domination. For Mbembe, Through various permutations, Mbembe
postcolony is a term that problematizes the denes the image of Africa. He characterizes
autonomy of the African state in the contemporary Africa as simultaneously a

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diabolical discovery, an inanimate image, and a dispute between Mantebo and Bereng for the
living sign (p. 240). Yet he grants Africa some position of paramount chief. The murders also
new possibilities: [W]e must say that is not occurred against the backdrop of general
solely disorder, chance, and madness, but insecurity about chieftainship created by the
emerges from a sort of violent gust, with its placing system, in which senior chiefs placed
languages, its beauty and ugliness, its ways of their kin over subordinate chiefs to bring them
summing up the world (p. 242). under control; administrative proclamations
Mbembes notion of commandement conjoins which drastically reduced the numbers of
the ideology of the colonizer and that of the recognized chiefs; and treasury reforms which
post-colonizer. Mudimbe, in The idea of Africa cut the number of Native courts from 1,340 in
(1994), views the continent as having been 1946 to 121 in 1949. In these contexts chiefs used
invented by Western intellectuals in powerful medicines, manufactured from the
anthropology, history, and philosophy. He esh and blood of living persons, to strengthen
considers the incorporation of Marxist their social power.
philosophy as anti-colonial praxis, as a The determined colonial attempt to end
disjuncture which allowed post-colonials to these murders, particularly by the High
grapple with their African roots. On the Commissioner, Sir Evelyn Baring, created a
postcolony provides a rather pessimistic heightened sense of moral crisis, culminating
perspective that minimizes the agency of in the hanging of two of the countrys most
non-ruling-class Africans and the post-colonial prominent chiefs, Bereng and Gabashane. The
potential for positive and sustainable social authors suggest that Basotho saw this erce
change in the long term. reaction as conrming the power of human
In addition to Mudimbe, more constructive, medicine. They also show how chiefs and
related books include Shaws Colonial inscriptions nationalist groupings developed a
(1995), which examines the intersection of race, counter-narrative, which denied the use of
sex, and class in colonial Kenya, and Carters human medicine or involvement by chiefs in the
States of grace (1997), which explores religion, murders. The narrative blamed the police and
labour migration, and identity among accomplice witnesses for framing the chiefs, and
Senegalese in Turin, Italy, and Touba, Senegal. for aiming to destroy the countrys natural
Such constructive yet engaged scholarship has leaders, to pave the way for its incorporation
a signicant role to play in transcending the into South Africa. Murray and Sanders describe
post-colonial image of Africa. the response by ordinary villagers as more
Betty Harris University of Oklahoma ambiguous: many were repelled by the killings,
but shared the belief in the efcacy and
importance of the chiefs medicine horns. Many
Murr ay, Colin & Peter Sanders. Medicine Basotho authors cast the murderers in the role of
murder in colonial Lesotho: the anatomy of a moral tragic heroes.
crisis. xiii, 493 pp., maps, tables, gs, plates, The authors effectively debunk the
bibliogr. Edinburgh: Univ. Press, 2005. 50.00 nationalist theory (shared by some historians)
(cloth) that the killings were really a colonial
conspiracy. This view fails to account for the
In this monograph, Murray, an anthropologist, mutilated bodies and the overwhelming
and Sanders, a historian, successfully revisit the evidence presented in the trials. The colonial
gruesome medicine murders (the liretlo killings) authorities are also shown as committed to
that occurred in colonial Basutoland (now keeping Basotholand under British rule and to
Lesotho) during the 1940s. The work is timely, preserving chieftainship as a linchpin of indirect
given the incompleteness of G.l. Joness 1951 rule. Unlike Jones, Murray and Sanders see the
report on these murders to government, and effects of the legislative reforms on chieftainship
also because the high court les, the only source and the Native courts as having an indirect
of primary data on these killings, is now rather than direct impact upon the killings.
inaccessible to researchers. The authors draw on Medicine murders actually increased in the
these les and also on supplementary archival 1950s; twenty-eight cases were reported as late
sources and interviews they conducted with as 1968. But they were now instigated by
surviving participants in these dramas. traders as much as by chiefs; became purely
Murray and Sanders contend that the widely a judicial matter; and a sense of moral crisis
publicized medicine murders were the result of a disappeared. The new High Commissioner, Sir
competitive contagion, sparked by the erce John Le Rougetel, accepted medicine murders

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702 Book reviews

as a fact of life, and Leabua Jonathans post- intersecting spheres of interest (discourses),
colonial government remained totally silent economic, political, and military.
about them. Salemink begins in the mid-nineteenth
The authors support their arguments with a century, before the French captured Saigon and
detailed statistical analysis of 129 court cases. began to colonize Vietnam, and looks at early
This exercise reveals that 109 (78 per cent) of studies by European missionaries and explorers.
the 139 instigators were chiefs and headmen; Subsequent chapters follow a chronological
relatively few murders were directly attributable order. There are chapters on the French colonial
to worries about recognition and the right to administration of the Central Highlands, the
hold court; the accomplices were motivated by inter-ethnic millenarian Python God movement
a sense of duty to obey the chiefs, compulsion, in the 1930s, the First Indochina War, the US
and fear; and courts generally treated the protectorate of the anti-communist Southern
testimony of accomplice witnesses critically, Republic and its counter-insurgency strategies
nding only 374 of the 1,042 accused guilty. for the Central Highlands, and the American or
The monograph ends with a suggestive Second Indochina War. In a nal chapter and
comparison of the broader political based on his own eldwork in the 1990s,
circumstances surrounding the Basutoland Salemink describes the changing circumstances
medicine murders with those committed in for ethnography after the countrys unication in
Swaziland during the 1970s and in Venda during 1975 under communist rule. Having examined
the 1980s. In the latter situations, where the the ways in which the Montagnards were
killings were condemned rather than denied, studied, represented, and manipulated for the
chiefs were integrated with the dominant and last 140 years (until 1990), the author wonders
authoritarian political class. toward the end of his book, Do they need
Medicine murder in colonial Lesotho is lucidly ethnography? (p. 295). His answer is that in
written and appropriately illustrated with contemporary Vietnam, his Highland informants
graphic photographs and interesting case wanted ethnographic, non-state, narratives of
material. It provides a detailed and convincing their circumstances to be told to the outside
analysis, is exemplary in its use of court records world. In all the upland provinces that they
for reconstructing historical processes, and will once populated almost exclusively, Central
undoubtedly provide an extremely valuable Highlanders are now a numerical minority
source for those who wish to understand the full (p. 295).
complexities of colonial encounters in southern What the study brings into focus is a
Africa. Unfortunately the monograph provides recurrent struggle for hegemony between two
only limited insight into everyday experiences of kinds of perspectives on the Central Highlanders,
chiey rule and into the cultural meanings, each reecting a different set of intentions of
rumours, and myths about medicine murder at military planners, administrators, and so on.
the village level. I also feel that broader One derives from efforts to appropriate the
ethnographic comparisons and more provocative Montagnards, whether to protect them from
theorizing could have enhanced its appeal to a the Vietnamese majority or to recruit them for
broader anthropological readership. military operations. Ethnography serves here
Isak Niehaus University of Pretoria to demarcate them as bounded entities, as
analogous to small nation-states. This Salemink
calls the relativist perspective, which considers
Salemink, Oscar. The ethnography of Montagnard values and customs in their own
Vietnams Central Highlanders: a historical right. The other perspective is an evolutionist
contextualization, 1850-1900. xxii, 383 pp., one. It reects intentions to deny any
maps, illus., bibliogr. London, New York: signicance of the Montagnard way of life and
RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. 65.00 (cloth) to integrate these communities into a larger,
modern, state, whether it is a colonial,
During the First and Second Indochina Wars the neo-colonial, or post-colonial socialist one.
conicting parties systematically manipulated Ethnography is a Foucauldian discursive
the ethnic groups inhabiting Vietnams Central practice in this study. Classifying the Central
Highlands. Anthropological knowledge proved Highlanders, recording their customary laws,
serviceable for such objectives. This monograph and locating their settlements on maps had the
situates the production and (ab)uses of Central effect of representing them as spatially xated,
Highland ethnography in a larger historical socially bounded tribes. That the Vietnamese
framework. It highlights changing and state today identies fty-three minorities is an

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Book reviews 703

outgrowth of this. The Montagnards themselves, thoroughly researched and carefully argued
as Salemink argues, did not originally perceive book.
themselves in this manner. Communities Markus Schlecker Max Planck Institute, Halle
practised shifting cultivation, inter-mixed
frequently with other groups, and members
were often unaware of their belonging to any Smith, Shawn Michelle. Photography on the
larger social entity. The ethnographic color line: W.E.B. Du Bois, race, and visual culture.
imagination of bounded tribes did not only xviii, 225 pp., plates, illus., bibliogr. London,
assist ofcials and military planners, it actually Durham, N.C.: Duke Univ. Press, 2004. 57.00
led the Montagnards to recognize themselves in (cloth), 16.95 (paper)
this way. With the growing presence of US
military advisers and troops, the ethnographic Photography on the color line considers the
tribalization transformed, to some extent, into participation of seminal African American
a pan-Highlander ethnicity movement. This theorist W.E.B. Du Bois in the American Negro
side-effect of ethnography is a headache for the Exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition. Smith
Vietnamese state still today. suggests that this was a formative moment in his
Salemink manages to balance an abundance intellectual development. Du Boiss contribution
of fascinating historical and biographical details comprised of four photographic albums,
with a well-structured and accessible style of comprising some 363 photographs produced by
exposition. All the praise notwithstanding, let photographers who are now unknown, with
me add a brief critical note. This study gets so the exception of Thomas Askew, whom Smith
preoccupied with context that it ironically ends is able to identify. The lack of accompanying
up taking context for granted. That is, the text to explicate their signicance highlights
author fails to address his own methodology the cultural work that these visual images
sufciently. When one contextualizes, is one performed in 1900, recognized at that time
highlighting contexts or actually creating them? as Du Bois was awarded a gold medal at this
As Salemink himself points out, both historian exposition.
and anthropologist have to rely on the same Smith argues that this emphasis on visuality
historical sources when situating ethnography by Du Bois in 1900 provides new insights into
historically. While his book is essentially about how his work developed to analyse the
the constructivist nature of ethnography, it does problematics of race that have shaped African
not consider the constructivist nature of American and diaspora studies to the present
contextualization. As a consequence, a whole set day. This engagement with photography
of assumptions about the true nature of the enabled him to consider how visuality was
Montagnards is built into his contexts and implicated in objectifying racialized difference
remains unreected. A too sharp distinction and, Smith suggests, how key concepts, such as
between them and a modern state, whether double consciousness and the veil, were
French colonial, US protectorate, or Vietnamese formulated through this objectied subject
socialist, runs through the book: uid versus positioned within particular historicized
xed, unbounded versus bounded, exible dominant ways of seeing. She argues that Du
versus rigid, and so on. The question is not Boiss use of visual paradigms positions him as a
whether or not these communities are uid, visual theorist on race, and informed all his
exible, and unbounded; rather, to what extent subsequent work. Du Bois utilized photography
are they so? Saleminks historical perspectives to contest the prevailing hegemonic ideology
(contexts) on ethnographic perspectives of scientic racism and its imposition of
(contexts) do not consider the xed, rigid, and essentialized racial hiercharchies that
bounded aspects of the Central Highland underpinned the exploitation of African
communities, which may differ from those Americans in the USA.
favoured by bureaucratic states. One nal point However, the constitution of this archive
on context: the book examines the changing without text is ambiguous and resistant to
historical contexts between 1850 and 1990, but present-day interpretation, and Smiths aim is to
the front cover erroneously states 1850-1900. recuperate the positionings of this visual cultural
This slip led me to wonder whether the colonial work at that time as a counter-narrative to such
context had not in fact become an dominant racialized hierarchies. She achieves this
overdetermining reference point for the analysis through a close analysis of how the archive is
of later periods, as neo- and post-colonial. All constructed by Du Bois. Portraits of African
criticisms aside, Salemink has produced a Americans in both frontal and side prole offer a

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704 Book reviews

mimesis of the visual taxonomies deployed to exploration of photographic imagery of lynching


inscribe and hierarchize the racialized subject that maps out the extreme terrorizing and
through photography. The subjects selected by disciplining of the African American body. Smith
Du Bois are an African American middle-class argues that this is part of the dominant visual
elite (or his notion of the talented tenth) whose archives of that period, deployed in the making
status and position are veried by these very of a white collective identity and forged in the
same visual procedures, used in the making of extra-judicial complicities and brutalized power
taxonomies of race, to assert incontrovertible of lynching by which individuals are located in
evidence to the contrary. This counter-narrative relation to the colour line, made immutable by
utilized not only class identities, but also diverse violence and maintained through the
individuals with physical characteristics that reproduction of its imagery. It is this
transgressed the stereotypes by which normative immutability of the essentialized and racialized
taxonomies of race were constituted, blurring subject that the Du Bois archive contests and
the colour line of the title. After presenting seeks to undermine.
individual portraits, the archive depicted this Although Smith emphasizes the importance
elite within socialized spaces associated with the of this archive to the development of Du Boiss
material trappings and visual exteriorization of theorizing on race and seeks to excavate its
the middle classes. These images of class were cultural work at the Paris Exposition, there is
constituted within a sentimental register of a tendency in one or two places to read
home and domesticity that reshaped the backwards from his writings after 1900. This
viewers expectations (and gaze) to subvert gives a teleogical feel to the analysis that blurs
hierarchies of race. his progressive intellectual development within a
A feature throughout is the selection of concrete historical trajectory. The conventions of
youthful individuals who offer new roles of the this archival imagery hint perhaps at more uid
African American and, perhaps as signicantly dialectical processes and multiple positionings in
and visibly, have no personal experience of its cultural work which require a more situated
slavery, which is as a consequence relegated to and detailed historical comparison of the Du
the past within this archive. Then images of Bois archive in Europe, where the exposition was
urban spaces without human subjects feature held, and in the USA, where it was constructed.
that position the middle-class elite in their The theoretical implications of the archive as a
prosperous milieu, distinguishing their status frame of analysis also could perhaps have been
spatially. A few nal photographs of run-down explored a little further authors such as Tagg
urban spaces juxtapose the environmental and also Alan Sekulas other writings on the
conditions of poverty of non-elite African archive spring to mind. The contrast of the Du
Americans to previous images in the album. The Bois archive with the imagery of lynching
absence of the impoverished African American provides a stark dichotomy, but, in lacking other
subject from these images, Smith suggests, is archival comparisons, it misses a nuancing of the
a strategy to emphasize the conditions of differing kinds of cultural work of archives as
environmental poverty rather than to evoke for well as their interrelations. However, this book is
the viewer through their presence the prevailing an original reection on the importance of
normative racialized hierarchy. visuality in the theorizing of Du Bois and
Smith reects on the subordination of highlights the diverse and complex ways in
women within this archive to male-dominated which he problematized race and racialization.
middle-class mores of respectability. This Charles Gore School of Oriental and African
inscription of normative gender roles (and of Studies
restraint and propriety) allied the African
American middle class with their white
counterparts and so, for both groupings, locates
sexual aberration in the lower classes. This tactic
Method and theory
provides a means to undermine the sexuality
embedded in racist representations through
Barnhart, Terry A. Ephraim George Squier
a shared class subordination of women in
and the development of American anthropology.
the construction of the patriarchial family.
xvi, 425 pp., illus., bibliogr. London, Lincoln:
Throughout, Smith argues that the Du Bois
Univ. Nebraska Press, 2005. 38.95 (cloth)
archive cannot be considered in isolation but
rather must be related to other archives. The
For most non-archaeologists, non-North
next chapter provides a stark contrast in an
American anthropologists, the name of Ephraim

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George Squier is likely to have little or no important member through the 1850s and 1860s
signicance. His survey and archaeological work (p. 311) but if a reader lacks understanding of
on the so-called Mound Builders of North the history of that institution, there is not much
America is relatively well known to American offered here to remedy that. Perhaps the most
archaeologists, but other dimensions of his work important contribution here is Barnharts
are known only among even more specialized discussion of Squiers The serpent symbol, and
audiences. After his Mound Builders work, the worship of the reciprocal principles of nature in
Squier served as a diplomat in Central America America (1851) a little-known synthetic work
and in the Andes, and used his time in those that attempted to demonstrate the psychic unity
regions to make important early archaeological of mankind. Barnharts discussion here (chap. 8)
contributions. He was also involved in some of lives up to the promise of intellectual biography
the early projects leading to the that he proffers, and the debate is one that
professionalization of anthropology in the US, represents the period well.
including Smithsonian publications and the In general, Barnharts writing is clear, but it
American Ethnological Society, and contributed lacks excitement. There also remains, even after
to the then current debates on race and the editing, considerable redundancy at several
poly- or monogenesis of humanity. Although not points a theme is restated several times in the
without faults, Barnharts study provides an space of a few pages and there are sections
illuminating survey of Squiers lifework. where the amount of detail distracts from the
Barnhart set out to write an intellectual overall narrative ow (of course, if one is reading
biography of Squier, which he denes as for those particular points, the detail may well
concerning itself with the origin and be appreciated).
development of ideas and with their Despite these aws, I recommend the book
embodiment in the works of particular writers for several reasons and constituencies. Those
and in the collective discourse of their era (p. 6). interested in the history of American
The emphasis is thus strongly on the written anthropology and archaeology will nd in it
product, and indeed the research reected in the considerable detail not available elsewhere,
text and citations is remarkable for its about a man who was one of the most
thoroughness. Unfortunately, as a consequence signicant gures in the mid-nineteenth century
of this perspective, there is relatively little but today is little known. That audience should
exploration of the interactions of Squiers be able to readily ll in the gaps in context and
personal life and work; the discussions that are t the information in with other scholars works
present (e.g. of his journalism and diplomatic on the Smithsonian, the Bureau of (American)
careers and how they enabled his archaeological Ethnology, and other gures of the time such as
work) whet ones appetite for more, and it is Constantine Ranesque and Daniel Garrison
remarkable that Squiers nasty divorce and Brinton. Barnharts book would be particularly
consequent mental breakdown are relegated to useful to those who teach on the Mound
an epilogue. My own preference in intellectual Builders arguments, even in introductory
biography is to blend life and work in a more courses. Those interested in archaeological work
balanced way. Furthermore, the latter part of in Central America and the Andes will similarly
Barnharts purpose is relatively poorly nd much new information here to broaden
represented: the interplay of Squiers ideas in the their appreciation of work in those areas. But
collective discourse of the time is only lightly perhaps the biggest surprise, to me, was the
developed through most of the book. contribution to studies of nineteenth-century
The reader gets little sense of how Squiers American race theory, which was central to the
work ts with the projects of the Bureau of emergence of anthropology and is seeing
(American) Ethnology, for example. The last renewed scholarly interest today.
chapter carries the bulk of this component of the Frederick W. Gleach Cornell University
work, contextualizing Squier in the American
School of Ethnology a cluster of scholars that
included Samuel George Morton, Josiah Clark Mauss, Marcel. The nature of sociology
Nott, and George Robins Gliddon, and a body of (trans. William Jeffrey, Jr). xii, 93 pp., bibliogr.
work centred on questions of race and genesis; Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books, 2005.
the term ethnology originated in 1848 in the 20.00 (cloth)
London Ethnological Journal. Squiers three
decades of activity in the American Ethnological It is in some ways a little daunting to be asked
Society are noted he was its most active and to review a book consisting of two essays that

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706 Book reviews

have been available to the interested reader of But perhaps most interestingly, while one
French for in one case over a century and in does not immediately associate Mauss either
the other for almost eighty years. But the with politics or with applied sociology, these
appearance of these two essays (Sociology, essays reveal a keen interest in both. The last
written with Paul Fauconnet, and published in chapter of his 1927 monograph printed here, no
1901, and Sociology: its divisions and their doubt with the memory of the war still fairly
relative weightings, published in 1927) in vividly present in his consciousness, is devoted
English for the rst time attests to the precisely to the issue of the true nature of
continuing interest in Marcel Mauss and the applied sociology, which Mauss interestingly
fact that re-readings of his work still provide differentiates from what he saw as the social
not only fertile ground for new interpretations work or civics dimension of American sociology.
of the Durkheimian school in general, but also In Mausss view, preguring the work of
a source of inspiration for scholars approaching contemporary French anthropologists such as
Mauss as a remarkably contemporary voice still Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan, application must
speaking in many ways to current issues in arise from what the latter calls fundamental
sociology and anthropology. anthropology, or in Mausss own words:
This slim volume, the result of the after-hours Science ... should be applied, but its
labour of the late American legal scholar William applications should not be confused with the
Jeffrey, Jr, and prefaced with an extensive science itself. This being the case, the sociology
introduction and useful bibliography by Mike of politics becomes a legitimate part of general
Gane which sets the two essays in the wider sociology, and with it alertness to what today
context of Mausss thought and writings as a would be called social movements, since there
whole, contains two of Mausss most signicant is an entire domain, midway between action and
methodological writings which demonstrate science, in the region of rational practice where
that, at least up until 1927 and certainly within the sociologist can and should adventure.
French sociology, there was still considerable Mausss work, certainly as revealed in this
anxiety about the exact scope and sub-divisions slim volume, should be seen not as a completed
of sociology and the feeling that without precise system, but as an unnished and not entirely
clarication of these divisions and their relative self-consistent project containing within itself a
signicance, the subject could not be said to mania for clear classications and demarcations,
have achieved a genuinely scientic status. While an excessive rationalism, and a purism about the
this subject may now seem rather a dry one, it is nature of science, coexisting with a remarkably
in fact highly signicant that the classications modern ecological view of the self as part
set up by the editors of the Anne Sociologique, of nature, a deep concern with the moral
most notably in the extensive reviews section of implications of sociology, and an awareness of
the journal, still profoundly inuence the the absences in sociology that his generation
internal structure of sociology, as a glance at the had not been able to ll. It is perhaps these
contents page of any introductory text in the contradictions that make it possible for him to
eld will reveal. be claimed by the structuralists, on the one
But if read as if they were contemporary texts hand, and the likes of Bataille, on the other,
in sociology, these essays reveal many other while still remaining of interest to us now.
aspects of Mausss work that have perhaps not John Clammer Sophia University
hitherto been stressed. These include his
understanding of sociology as the science of
institutions; the transitions and dialogic nature Mauz, Marie, Michael E. Harkin &
of Mausss work, especially his complex Sergei Kan (eds). Coming to shore: Northwest
relationship with Durkheim, which mirrors in Coast ethnology, traditions and visions. xxxviii, 508
some ways that of Freud and Jung; his pp., maps, illus., bibliogr. London, Lincoln: Univ.
arguments not against psychology as such, but Nebraska Press, 2005. 19.95 (paper)
with the confusion of individual psychology with
sociological explanation; his anti-philosophical First presented at a Paris 2000 conference on
stance; and his recognition that some areas of Northwest Coast ethnology by French,
sociology that are still very under-represented Canadian, and US scholars, the twenty papers
in terms of the volume and quality of work in this collection are intended to represent the
devoted to them notably linguistics, most comprehensive overview since the 1990
technology, and aesthetics are in fact essential Northwest Coast volume of the Handbook of
to the total sociological enterprise. North American Indians edited by Wayne Suttles.

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Book reviews 707

The conference was originally intended to communities. Earlier anthropologists are


coincide with Claude Lvi-Strausss 90th criticized for codifying or entextualizing uid
birthday in 1999. He served as the honoree of social practices, turning processes into products.
the conference and provided a brief account of Natives and some anthropologists today, on the
how his own interests in the Northwest Coast other hand, are busily trying to convert those
developed. The focus is on the role of Northwest products back into cultural processes
Coast narrative traditions, both those recorded appropriate for current social and political
from Native speakers and others constructed by conditions.
earlier anthropologists in the form of their There is little to complain about in this
ethnographic reports, now also treated as volume. A few papers might be considered a
traditions. The twenty-seven-page Editors little light-weight, not unusual considering the
introduction provides a useful commentary on large number included; a few references cited in
the broader state of Northwest Coast research as chapters never made it to the master
well as an introduction to the following papers. bibliography; and no explanation is given for
The seven papers in the rst section, The this particular selection of authors. The most
legacy of Northwest Coast research, set the notable omission was Wayne Suttles (who sadly
stage by reviewing the connections between passed away earlier this year).
Lvi-Strauss and Boasian anthropology and/or Michael M. Ames University of British Columbia
by reafrming Lvi-Strausss approach or their
own. Most useful here are the reviews by Regna
Darnell and Marie Mauz plus the bonus Metcalf, Peter. Anthropology: the basics.
inclusion of Frederica de Lagunas reminiscences 215 pp., map, gs, illus., bibliogr. London, New
of her own intellectual travels between American York: Routledge, 2005. 9.99 (paper)
and European anthropologies, along with the
homage to her by her former student and Although introductory textbooks in social and
literary executrix, Marie-Franoise Gudon. (De cultural anthropology have been used for
Laguna was unable to attend the conference and decades by grateful undergraduates, the more
died before the publication of this volume.) The concise format seems to be a more recent
three papers in the second section, Texts and phenomenon. Around half a dozen very short
narratives, by Judith Berman, Robert Bringhurst, introductions to anthropology have been
and co-authors Martine Reid and Daisy published in English in the last few years, which
Sewid-Smith, all well-practised in the study of indicates the existence of a market for this kind
narrative traditions, provide a foundation for the of book. Perhaps efforts to introduce
study of aboriginal narratives through their anthropology as a school subject are beginning
detailed examinations of the logical structure to pay off; perhaps the attention span of
and everyday practice of story-telling. Sergei undergraduates is shorter than it used to be; or
Kans description of American tourism in the cause may simply be that university reforms
southeastern Alaska in the late nineteenth force teachers to compress their courses. Be this
century and Ira Jackniss description of the as it may, the fact is that one can now choose
Northwest Coast Hall at the American Museum among a fair number of books which offer less
of Natural History, which Lvi-Strauss visited in than a fully edged introductory textbook, but
1941, leading him to proclaim Northwest Coast more than just a selection of tidbits.
as one of the highest forms of art, comprise the Peter Metcalfs Anthropology: the basics is
third section, History and representation. slightly too long to be considered a very short
All these papers serve as appetizers for the introduction (ten chapters, 200 pages), but it
eight papers in the concluding section, Politics has similar aims to Peter Just and John
and cultural heritage, which connect the Monaghans Social and cultural anthropology: a
Lvi-Straussian and Boasian studies to current very short introduction (OUP, 2000), Hanns Teach
Northwest Coast socio-political and yourself social anthropology (McGraw Hill, 2000)
anthropological discourses. There are rst-rate and my What is anthropology? (Pluto, 2004),
contributions here, including especially the rst namely to bring new students quickly into the
three papers by Richard and Nora Marks anthropological way of thinking through
Dauenhauer, Aaron Glass, and Bruce Miller. In concepts and cases, thus facilitating the
one way or another all the authors in this section understanding of more difcult texts; and to tell
attempt to deconstruct earlier anthropological interested outsiders what anthropology is about.
reports while recording attempts at Introductory books of this kind should give
reconstruction by members of Northwest Coast the novice reader a sense of the history of

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708 Book reviews

anthropology, they should describe some of its careful not to offend the sensitivities of his
glorious moments of discovery and central readers by using language that might be
theoretical controversies, and they should offer a perceived as racist or sexist (where Europeans
reasonable number of illustrative cases; in brief, tend to be more careless), and the book is also
this kind of book should give the reader strongly normatively slanted, full of liberal (in
something to think with, but also something to the US sense) political views. Metcalf repeatedly
think about. Metcalf does all this, covering draws explicit moral conclusions from
structural-functionalism, Marxism, culture and small-scale societies, rarely noting how cruel,
personality, structuralism, and more, and violent, and oppressive many of them have
introducing Nuer, Trobrianders, Tikopians, been. Whereas a more even-handed or neutral
Bemba, Atoni, and others; but his potted view of traditional societies would have been
histories are scattered throughout the book and proper in most European countries, this
rarely show how ideas have developed (an eagerness to convey a set of moral values
exception being the two chapters on African alongside the intellectual content may tell us
political systems and the relationship between something about the ideological situation in
anthropological theorizing and colonialism). In the USA.
general, I nd the book to be less cumulative Anthropology: the basics is a good read, with
than others on the market. This may not be a instructive boxes and useful summaries, and it
aw, since it makes it possible to read chapters will doubtless whet manys appetite for more.
in a non-linear order, but it is slightly Thomas Hylland Eriksen University of Oslo/Free
disconcerting to have a page or so on the University of Amsterdam
history of the four-eld approach in American
anthropology stuck in the middle of the book
(p. 87), several chapters after the account of the Rapport, Nigel. I am dynamite: an alternative
transition from late Victorian to modern anthropology of power. xvi, 283 pp., illus.,
anthropology. bibliogr. London, New York: Routledge, 2003.
Written in a very accessible style, the book 21.99 (paper)
covers most of the central subject areas in
social/cultural anthropology, with a slight Locating agency in social scientic texts can be a
preference for traditional rather than modern difcult task. More often than not, when the
contexts. Unlike other authors, Metcalf draws source of agency is apparently missing, it will
on his own ethnography (from Borneo) only to eventually and almost inevitably turn out to be
a limited extent, spreading out the canvas supra-individual. And while many of us assume
wide, and he also repeatedly invokes the that agency lies somewhere between the devil
experiential world of the North Atlantic student. (individuality) and the deep-blue sea
At its best, the book is able to create that sense (society), the default setting remains
of wonder and surprise which is so essential for predominantly oceanic. There have always been
the motivation of young students soon to be those who have taken the less popular course in
confronted with texts that might appear both locating agency fairly and squarely in or with the
arcane and tedious. The book effectively individual, and in recent years the champion of
demonstrates why it is that gender, death, and this cause has been Nigel Rapport, who during
nature can be studied as social constructions the last two decades has continued to
(he actually says that they are social foreground the primacy of the individual in the
constructions), it shows that kinship works in construction of social phenomena. However, in
many ways, and why it is that ethnographers this, his most substantial work so far, he
need to be reexive in order to keep their own ingeniously develops earlier arguments and
cultural bias in check. confronts and responds in typically elegant
Much has been written about the differences prose to many of the most trenchant criticisms
(or lack thereof) between the American and of his work to date.
British/European anthropologies. Metcalf pays I am dynamite is in three parts. In Part I,
little attention to the issue (and when, on page Propositions, Rapport sets out in some detail
92, he speaks of other national traditions of his standpoint, in terms of ontology,
anthropology, he mentions only newly methodology, epistemology, and, signicantly,
emerging nations, neglecting Russian, Japanese, morality. Above all else it is, avers Rapport, the
Dutch, and other signicant non-anglophone multi-selved individual, unique, generative,
anthropologies), but his book may in itself transcendent, powerful, that constitutes the
suggest an emerging difference. He is extremely ultimate reality in understanding social life. In

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ignoring the individual, anthropologists cannot Drawing thoughtfully on the life-projects


do analytical or interpretative justice to the presented here, Rapport demonstrates an
complexities of social life. Rapport is quick to approach to doing anthropology which is good,
point out that this is not to dismiss the reality of in the sense of being both morally and
the social, but rather to locate its generation interpretatively strong. One hopes that others
entirely in the work of individuals. He argues, will further this work by embarking on their own
persuasively, for a shift in emphasis in accounts projects in individual anthropology. Rapport
of individuals actions from a reliance on draws on an extraordinary range of authors, not
because explanations to in order to motives, only from anthropology, but from philosophy,
admitting that human intentionality cannot and psychology, the biological sciences, literary
should not be precluded or, worse still, occluded criticism, and so forth. I am dynamite is
by reference to social structure or some such contentious and controversial in equal measure
illusional construct. but is never less than engaging. Like all
Furthermore, in the individual lies the locus signicant work, the book raises as many
of power, and for this reason, among others, questions as it answers and it is sure to provoke
Rapports assertion that the individual is prior to considerable debate among academics and, one
all other possible sources of agency is a moral hopes, students. I am dynamite is a passionate
necessity. An important means of securing ones and persuasive work, not only extolling but
individuality is the generation and clearly demonstrating the virtues of taking the
accomplishment of ones life-project, a term individual in all of her or his complexity as the
which remains (intentionally?) ambiguous, in starting-point for doing anthropology.
that it manifests both is and ought qualities. It Furthermore, it represents a considerable
is in pressing ahead with his or her life-project contribution to the liberal and humanist
that the individual manifests power. Rapport traditions and so deserves a wide readership.
draws explicitly on the existentialists, and it is Peter Collins University of Durham
from Nietzsche that his novel theory of power
derives. It is Machtgefuhl a term used by Leslie
Chamberlain to describe Nietzsche, and meaning
a clear sense of ones own power and of the use Social anthropology
to which ones talents should be put that
constitutes the axis around which this book
turns. Allen, Catherine J. The hold life has: coca
Indeed, Rapport offers Nietzsche as the rst and cultural identity in an Andean community
of his four biographical examples, or (2nd edition). xv, 296 pp., maps, gs, illus.,
Illustrations, in the second part of the book, bibliogr. London, Washington, D.C.:
and a large proportion of I am dynamite Smithsonian Institution Press, 2003. 15.50
(including, of course, its title) is a celebration of (paper)
the philosophy of Nietzsche, from whom
Rapport derives much that is foundational to his The subtitle of Catherine Allens excellent book
worldview. Given the extent to which Nietzsche is not inaccurate, but it suggests both more and
has been misrepresented and misunderstood, it less than the book delivers. This is especially true
will be interesting to see, following Rapports for the second edition reviewed here.
account, whether his stock now rises among Certainly, the book examines cultural
anthropologists. The second and third identity in Sonqo, a small indigenous
illustrations are drawn from the lives of community not far from Cuzco, in southern
individuals personally known to the author: Ben Peru, as well as the role of coca, and of
Glaser, his stepfather and Rachel Silberstein, a alcohol, in the Sonqueoss lives. However, the
friend he met while sojourning in Israel. These book is more centrally an elegiac description of
are messier narratives and, for me, more transformations that Allen observed in Sonqo
satisfying and convincing accounts of the between her rst eldwork in 1975 and her 1985
life-project. While there is considerable empathy return to the eld. The even greater
in Rapports portrayal of these individuals, it is in transformations that occurred between 1985
the fourth illustration, his account of the British and further visits in 1995 and 2000 are
painter Stanley Spencer, that I nd the most described in the fty-page epilogue which
interesting and compelling example of distinguishes the second edition from the rst.
Machtgefuhl. Spencer, Rapport demonstrates, In broad outline, the transformations that
remained throughout his life his own man. Allen describes are familiar ones. Increased ease

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 12, 675-724


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710 Book reviews

of transportation and communication permit was hard, mortality rates were high, and some
and promote a once isolated indigenous people, at least, took rapid advantage of the
communitys integration into the larger new opportunities presented to them. With
surrounding, and global society. Increased regard to coca and alcohol, Allen effectively
integration into the market economy, spurred by describes traditional drug use. As seems typical
a state actively pursuing neo-liberal policies, for autochthonous drugs, use was ritualized,
leads to changes in crops, crop rotation, sacralized, and integrated into daily life. Allen
organization of labour, and social organization. also describes how the conjoined decline of
More particular to the region are government community and desacralization of alcohol led to
responses to the global war on drugs that its abuse. However, other than placing the drugs
restrict transportation of coca leaves within Peru, in the regions history, Allen leaves largely
limiting traditional patterns of access and unaddressed the question of why Sonqueos
consumption. consumed coca and alcohol as they did. There is
Allens repeated eld visits and long-term little discussion of the drugs qua drugs or of the
involvement with the community permit an Sonqueoss view of their effects. Both questions
outstandingly thick description of peoples lives are central to a more complete understanding of
and the effects of change on them. Allen rst the use of both drugs in Sonqo, and, in the case
describes the dense network of meaning within of alcohol, of what changed over time. This
which the Sonqueos lived, and the ways in latter question is particularly important given
which their physical, ritual, and social lives were the apparently related rapid growth of
interwoven, to locate individuals within a alcoholism and teetotal evangelical Protestant
cosmology intimately linking place, community, sects in Sonqo.
and daily life. Her discussion of ritual and Finally, in Allens attempt to describe
pilgrimage are particularly effective. The changes impacts on so many aspects of
extended eldwork also lets Allen track peoples lives, it sometimes feels that bits and
individuals and families over twenty-ve years, pieces of description, though rich and thick, are
describing the ways in which childrens lives stuck on rather than carefully worked in to
diverge from those of their parents. She is also create a work that is more integrated in a stylistic
able to show the numerous paths that those sense. This is particularly true of the epilogue.
divergences take, including migration from The weaknesses, however, are minor. Overall,
Sonqo to Cuzco, and, in Sonqo, changes in this is a ne ethnography that adds to the
residence patterns, in home design, patterns of literature on the region, on drugs, and on the
reciprocity, and, ultimately, changes in religious impact of the outside world on localized
practice, language, and ethnic identity. peoples.
Moreover, although the links between all the Dan Bradburd Clarkson University
changes are not worked out in detail, the book
highlights to great effect the interrelatedness of
change occurring in different areas of peoples Banerjee, Mukulik a & Daniel Miller.
lives. The sari. vii, 277 pp., plates, bibliogr. Oxford,
The reader is always intensely aware that New York: Berg Publishers, 2003. 26.99
Allen is describing real, three-dimensionally (cloth)
realized people so that it is impossible to see
change as an abstract process with no human The sari is a refreshingly unorthodox book about
meaning or impact. She repeatedly shows the clothing that focuses on the contemporary sari
ways in which peoples hopes are fullled or not as an object of clothing but as a lived
confounded, their expectations met or dashed, garment in an India transformed by pockets of
and the manner in which the structures that rabid consumerism and by the needs of a large
provided meaning and motivation for their lives and vocal middle class whose dress is a constant
are supported or corroded. reinvention of the meanings of modern and
The intense human scale and the neness of rational.
Allens description are among the books The book tells us the multiple stories of
signicant strengths, but there are also women rich and poor, urban and rural
weaknesses. The central narrative of community immersed in this modern life where the sari
lost makes some aspects of Allens descriptions plays such a crucial role. It relies on many voices,
seem romanticized. Allen makes an impressive some articulate and others difdent, to explore
case that Sonqueos lives were encompassed by why the sari in India is the most commonly
a web of meaning, but, as the books shows, life worn dress and evokes so many contradictory

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feelings. The strength and charm of this book is Chapter 9 takes us to three different settings
the ease with which it distils in an extremely opposing buyers and sellers of saris, where the
readable, vivacious, and often witty manner the act of buying emerges as something involving
ethnographic perspectives set within a broader skill and knowledge and stimulating both
context of social, political, and religious changes. anxiety and pleasure. Chapter 10 explores the
The writing is never laboured but on the development of branding and the impact of
contrary remains uent, light, and pointed. major companies as well as the dilemmas of the
There are indeed few footnotes and scarcely any contemporary handloom sector, caught between
discussion of fashionable theories. The authors a need to serve the mass market and a more
are supported in their narrative by expensive taste for craft saris. Chapter 11 surveys
breathtakingly beautiful photographs of women some of the major arbiters of taste, from politics,
in their saris that immerse the reader in the lm, and television soap operas, while making
tactile, sensual, emotional, intimate world of the point that fashion in saris is not the main
feelings. incentive to the sari-buyer. Chapter 12 looks at
Each of the twelve chapters can be read as a the future of the contemporary sari and asks
separate unit and not necessarily in the order whether it will be overtaken by the
presented, since this is not a history of the sari. shalwar-kameez or become a purely ceremonial
Throughout the book we read about Minas dress like the kimono. The authors suggest that
encounter with the sari, as a young wife eager the sari will survive as the only Indian formal
to please her in-laws and much later as a dress, an elevated status to which no other
condent sari-wearer who criticizes women who garment can aspire.
wear the suit (shalwar-kameez). The second This is in short an excellent book where the
chapter describes the intimacy of the sari, which, authors truly master their material and succeed
unlike any other garment, is dynamic, moves in conveying their own enthusiasm for the topic.
with the body, is constantly on stage, can It will be of interest to a broad cross-section of
support or betray, and has a profound effect on readers interested in clothes and fashion, as well
the way a woman perceives herself as an as to social scientists, who should appreciate a
individual. Chapter 3 analyses the wardrobe as a book which manages to be both readable and
mirror of a womans personality, with each sari rigorous.
embodying a moment in life. Chapter 4 explains Nira Wickramasinghe University of Colombo
how wearing a sari constitutes a turning-point
for an adolescent in the same way as a teenager
learns how to drive a car. It also explores the Chatty, Dawn & Gillian Lewando Hundt
saris association with sexuality. (eds). Children of Palestine: experiencing forced
Chapter 5 argues that although ancient texts migration in the Middle East. xiii, 274 pp., maps,
display an ideal of societal control over women gs, tables, bibliogrs. Oxford, New York:
and their sexuality, many strictures regarding Berghahn Books, 2005. 45.00 (cloth), 17.00
Hindu womens clothing are enforced by (paper)
women over other women. Chapter 6 looks at
the working sari in todays India, where many Children of Palestine is published as part of a
urban women work outside the home. The sari series on forced migration which features
as the working womans dress, from thematic volumes on generic refugee issues (e.g.
policewomen to Indian Administrative Service impoverishment, psychological wellness, agency
ofcers, blends notions of comfort and and ethics, asylum-seekers) and volumes
functionality. But its meaning is ambiguous and dedicated to particular refugee populations.
contextual: at work it may signal conformity, but Focused on Palestinian refugees one of the
it can also full a function of power dressing for largest groups of ethno-territorial refugees the
many women. Chapter 7 shows the intimate world has seen in recent decades and the
bond between saris and their wearer as they longest-standing refugee population known
grow old together: women tend to change their today the volume features a generic angle (the
taste in saris as they grow older, leaving younger impact of forced migration on the lives of
ones to wear bright colours and richer textures. children) and a regional comparative approach.
Chapter 8 recounts the dilemmas of two women Its ve main chapters cover Palestinian refugees
on what particular sari to wear, the rst one in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, and
before a crucial board meeting and the other, Gaza, respectively.
her domestic help, before stepping out to work Children of Palestine is a highly structured
in this persons house. volume. Its ve main chapters follow a distinct

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712 Book reviews

thematic mould which obviously reects the towards them. Jordan granted them citizenship
volumes epistemological origins. In 1998 the and freedom to settle anywhere. Syria denied
Andrew Mellon Foundation approached the them citizenship, restricts their freedom of
Refugee Studies Center at Oxford with a association, speech, and movement, but is
suggestion to organize a study of the impact of relatively lax in terms of employment
forced migration on Palestinian refugee children opportunities and education. Lebanon, where
in Gaza. The Centre designed a larger the fate of Palestinians has been subject to
comparative project that would cover refugee invasions and incursions on the part of Israel
communities in the ve locations. A third of the and Syria, oscillates between draconian
volume (parts of the introduction plus three restrictions on residence, employment, and
appendices covering pages 181 to 265) informs political freedom for Palestinians and
the reader of the elaborate procedures prepared hyper-liberal licence afforded to them to create
for the project. These included a research semi-autonomous territorial enclaves. The West
strategy, complete with conceptual and Bank, controlled by Jordan from 1950 to 1967
methodological guidelines; hiring local (mostly and a part of the kingdoms administrative orbit
Palestinian) researchers; organizing a preparatory till 1988, but otherwise controlled by Israel since
workshop in Cyprus; establishing a project 1967, saw various transformations of conditions,
newsletter to facilitate communication between rights, and limitations imposed on Palestinian
co-ordinators (Chatty and Lewando Hundt) and refugees. This culminated in dramatic
researchers in the eld; and devising a deterioration caused by the militarization of the
mechanism through which researchers sent Israeli occupation since the beginning of the
periodic progress reports to the co-ordinators Oslo process in the early 1990s. Gaza, where
and the funding bodies. incredible space limitations seem to have been
The result is a methodical and fact-lled the dominant factor ever since 1948, likewise
book. An indispensable contribution to the changed hands between Egypt (194956,
historical record of Palestinian refugees, Children 195767), Israel (19489, 19567, 19672004), and
of Palestine will certainly prove valuable for versions of Palestinian rule since 1994, creating a
care-giving organizations as well as national and continuum of unending, worsening hardship for
international agencies seeking to transform the the Palestinian refugees.
dire state of Palestinian refugees. This Given their common memory of loss,
notwithstanding, this top-down research project, treating all Palestinian refugees as a single entity
funded by metropolitan bodies wishing to is morally and politically understandable. But
empower victims of a large-scale tragedy in the given the historical, political, and economic
periphery, mimics some of the characteristics variations experienced by the sub-communities
alluded to in recent critical assessments of during the last six decades, is lumping them
humanitarian intervention in disaster areas: the together analytically justied?
knee-jerk scramble for analytical order; the Many of the previous surveys and studies of
emphasis on transparent, reproducible Palestinian refugees were psychologically or
methodology; the concomitant assumption that psychiatrically inclined, inevitably using Western
a well-structured comparative approach is the concepts of selfhood, suffering, and trauma.
most productive way of teasing out similarities Children of Palestine successfully moves away
and differences between sub-cases of what is from this by presenting a multi-disciplinary,
ostensibly a single phenomenon or category. ethnographically rich approach which looks at
This comment is not restricted to procedures children in the context of their familial,
of inquiry. It speaks to the analytical, theoretical, communal, and societal environments. In each
and political heart of the Palestinian refugee of the ve territories, researchers identied
problem and its potential solutions. Palestinian approximately twenty families, then proceeded
refugees became refugees as a result of a to collect life histories of members of at least
particular process: Zionisms colonization of three generations since 1948. These were then
Palestine and Israels deliberate policy during the integrated into a series of descriptive statements
1948 conict and immediately after it of securing of the communal history, main problems,
as much territory as possible with as few coping mechanisms, and scopes for the future
Palestinians as possible. But history, including which characterize the community.
the experience of the Palestinian refugees, did Children of Palestine is a highly convincing
not cease to evolve in 1948. For one thing, the and often heart-breaking chronology of
states and territories where Palestinian refugees suffering. Specic but highly representative,
ended up displayed vastly divergent policies selective but fundamentally factual, each chapter

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Book reviews 713

of the book unfolds the endless saga of imaginary Mexico and the real one. Two decades
Palestinian plight. Some of it is obviously unique hence, and using considerably different
to Palestinians and their tragedy, other parts are epistemological tools and methods from those
reminiscent of impoverished, de-developed and which were employed by Bonl, it would seem
dehumanized communities in the Third World or that this is what also inspires the work of
in slums nearer world metropoli. Gabriela Coronado, who, from the perspective
Informative and often gripping, the of the social narrative, examines the complex
predominantly descriptive volume, however, relationships existing between indigenous
seldom soars in terms of analytical insight. One peoples, to whom she always refers as Indian
exception is Randa Farahs chapter on Jordan, peoples, and mestizos, amid the convergence of
where the predicament of Palestinian refugees is different layers of self-identication in the
represented in a particularly dynamic and burgeoning national identity, that of a
insightful manner. In spite of the fact that the contemporary Mexico which is not bound by
volumes introduction already includes a its past.
historical background for each of the ve Following Bakhtins heteroglossical principles,
locations, Farahs historicization of the Coronado picks out the social interactions in
community of Palestinian refugees in Jordan is each cultural manifestation, which qualify as
fresh and analytically astute. Her literature review some sort of text of inter-ethnic dialogue. This
(pp. 912) and note on methodology (pp. 924), is the same dialogue which not only classies
as well as her ethnographic accounts, are Indians and mestizos as different ethnicities, but
likewise lucid and suggestive, moving effortlessly also assumes as a starting-point that the national
between the micro picture painted through social hegemony has been facilitated thanks to
individual memories and vignettes, and the the deliberate silencing and marginalization of
broader stroke of history and politics within one of the parties the Indians. Whilst giving
which they belong. Her discussion of physical credit to the creativity of the Indian population
and social space is particularly illuminating, in the formation of the new country, the author
creating an interesting foreground for her forgets, as if it had never existed, the third pillar
comments on coping mechanisms. of the national project, namely African
The Palestinians generally and Palestinian immigrants. She attempts to lter contemporary
refugees in particular are still struggling to have Mexican society through the lens of an
a voice in world politics. In this respect, an effort interdisciplinary conceptualization which is, at
such as Children of Palestine, with its effective times, subordinate to the presumptions of the
emphasis on bringing forward testimonies and textual and semiotic analysis itself.
observations of refugees as interlocutors, is a Notwithstanding this, it is tempting to
welcome contribution. It would have been even imagine the Zcalo, the central plaza of Mexico
more effective intellectually and politically had City, and by extension that of the entire country,
the vivid accounts emanating from the eld as a narrative space where the symbols of the
been bracketed by more rigorous theoretical and nation are imbued with new meanings thanks to
analytical introduction and conclusion. the appropriation symbolic as much as
Dan Rabinowitz Tel-Aviv University physical of the space by representatives of the
excluded party: groups of Indians who
commemorate on a daily basis the traditional
Coronado Suzn, Gabriela. Las voces dances of the concheros, those who sell cheap
silenciadas de la cultura mexicana: identidad, traditional trinkets, or the Zapatista army,
resistencia y creatividad en el dilogo intertnico. looming in the distant southeast. In the
371 pp., gs, illus., bibliogr. Mexico: CIESAS, judgement of the author, this appropriation
2003. (paper) presupposes a reconguration of these
symbols, most notoriously in the case of the
During the 1980s, Guillermo Bonl, one of the national ag, which masks the displacement of
more relevant and inuential Mexican Indians from their position of primacy when,
anthropologists, reasoned that as a consequence during the Colonial period, the pre-hispanic
of the failure of the imaginary Mexican national Templo Mayor was conned to a corner of the
project that had been expounded by the social square, half-hidden behind colonial buildings,
elite since the independence of the state, the the Cathedral and Palacio Nacional.
unavoidable task of Mexican social If the historical interaction between two
anthropologists was to re-analyse the country civilizations, Spanish culture and Mesoamerican,
via the analysis of the links between that somewhat simplistically conceived of as being

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714 Book reviews

homogeneous cultures, has been basically a who work in the Sri Minakshi Sundareshwara
relationship of dominance and subordinance, Temple, one of southern Indias largest temples,
the application of a fractal logic, which relating these changes to the priests
articulates more subtle and varied levels of social self-conscious embrace of traditionalism,
complexity and inter-ethnic interaction in understood (following Eisenstadt) as the
comparison to an analysis of society as a whole, selective reclamation of older legitimating
allows us, according to Coronado, to understand symbols as hedges against new symbolic orders
a new dialogical version of local histories in (p. 160). The books ethnographic core is framed
which the Indian groups must incorporate the by an argument about the necessity of
other, represented by the mestizo, in the approaching modernization not through abstract
process of creating a new indianidad. This is universalisms rationalization, for example but
analysed in its various manifestations via an through its culturally inected forms and the
ethnography which is broad and generalized folk understandings of the modern that arise
when looking at the Zapatistas and which is ne, from those processes. Fuller thus maintains,
detailed, and illuminating when it concentrates contra Giddens, that priests ideological
on the social processes which accompany the investments in traditionalism are integral to the
creation of new local identities in the district of social and cultural project of modernity.
Cuetzalan, in Puebla state. The book opens with Fullers recollection of a
Beyond the problematic elimination of the 1976 encounter with a priestly family in Madurai;
subtleties of indigenous identities, subsumed it is quickly followed by a description of that
within the generic label of Indian peoples, and family in 2001, at which point several members
the no less problematic analysis of behaviours had relocated to the United States. There, they
inferred from texts produced in, and for, served as priests in a newly constructed temple,
different contexts from those in which they now also dedicated to Minakshi, in suburban Texas.
nd themselves, the author manages to show Fuller notes that, at least for one of the priests,
how Mexicos indigenous past seeps from every Sanskritic scriptural education had been a key
pore of its national identity, crossing the chasm factor in obtaining the overseas post. This setting
of a hegemonic discourse which it has always trope introduces the conundrum that Fuller
sought to deny, by the placement of the Indians seeks to unravel in the book, namely how and
in a remote and mythical past. In this sense, why aspects of the priesthood have changed
Gabriela Coronado conceives of her text as part over the past quarter-century, particularly in
of a healing rite for a nation which has been terms of the value that has come to be assigned
ailing ever since it condemned Mesoamerican to Sanskritic education over that same period.
culture to the shadows. This being the case, the The grand, much-delayed renovation ritual for
demand that Mexico develop a non-exclusive Madurais Minakshi temple in 1995, described by
and more balanced national identity implies that Fuller in the same chapter, serves as an iconic
the aforementioned culture be placed in the sign (in all senses) of this renewal. It is a
light for all to see. For this to happen, Coronado renewal, moreover, that Fuller in his earlier work
converts herself into a loudspeaker of had not anticipated, given the socio-economic
inter-ethnic dialogue, clearly enunciating the decline and demoralization among priests that
words of those who could not be heard because he documented in 1976-7.
they were speaking in whispers. In the ve chapters that follow, the global
Pedro Tom (translated by Rafael Bloom) horizon recedes as Fuller seeks to account for
CSIC, Centro de Humanidades, Madrid the improved status of Minakshi temple priests.
He examines patterns of priestly labour (chap.
2), family and domestic life (chap. 3), and
Fuller, C.J. The renewal of the priesthood: education (chap. 4), paying special attention to
modernity and traditionalism in a South Indian the growth of schools dedicated to Sanskritic
temple. xx, 207 pp., gs, tables, bibliogr. education and to priests increasing interests in
Oxford, Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 2004. such training. Chapter 5 deals with recent
17.95 (paper) political developments, especially the impact of
modern state formation and Hindu nationalist
The renewal of the priesthood by C.J. Fuller ideology on temple activities in Tamil Nadu. In
revisits, revises, and extends an ethnographic the books nal chapter, Fuller assesses current
study undertaken by the same author in 1976-7. debates on modernization and concludes: in
It examines recent patterns of socio-cultural and the work and lives of the priests, we ... have a
geographic mobility among the Brahman priests case study of ... not only how modernity can

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engender traditionalism but also how abuses. Gill pulls back the curtain on the making
traditionalism can constitute and promote of a repressive hemispheric military apparatus,
modernity while simultaneously emphasizing and, simultaneously, exposes the linkages
the divine authority of tradition (p. 167). between increased military violence and
The book, which is admirably free of jargon, neo-liberal programmes. Gill argues that these
is a useful ethnographic study that, paired with linkages are the basis of US empire in the
Fullers earlier work, offers an extended case Americas.
study of an important priestly community in Gills multi-sited, transnational ethnography
southern India. Fullers documentation of new illuminates empire formation by exploring the
forms and spaces of Sanskritic education is experiences and perspectives of three groups:
particularly welcome, as is his dissection of the US military trainers and Latin American students
recent rise of Hindutva in southern India. at SOA; coca-growing Bolivian and Colombian
Perhaps because I live and work in a state peasants; and US activists aiming to shut down
(California) that has a large population of SOA. Traversing the frontiers between torturers,
Non-Resident Indians and correspondingly large victims, and protesters, Gill vividly maps out the
numbers of Hindu temples, I would like to have poles of subjugation and opposition that
seen more attention to the transnational constitute the force elds of US military
processes and institutions that are responsible imperialism.
for, and impacted by, priests increased mobility. Gill begins by connecting military recruitment
The book begins by invoking globalization and retention to broader issues of culture and
through accounts of the unexpected power. She captures the pushes and pulls of
conjunctures that it occasions, but apart from recruitment by juxtaposing the different
dismissive comments about notions of global experiences of trainees and their families as they
modernity there is very little subsequent move between a Latin American landscape of
discussion of the forces and institutions, be they dispossession and repression and an American
political, legal, economic, or cultural, that culture of consumption. Latin American militaries
mediate globalization and render traditionalism provide the primary avenue of social mobility for
into a mobile and dynamic ideology. How, for the lower middle class, and professional soldiers
example, does the mobility now experienced by are a caste-like group largely insulated from the
Minakshi temple priests compare with that of consequences of the social dislocations that they
other priestly communities? How do temples uphold. SOA training is the surest route to
dedicated to Minakshi outside India compare military promotion and success. The integration
with those in India? Is Minakshi, herself, of trainees and their families into an American
re-imagined or re-framed in the course of her way of life is integral to the SOA experience. Gill
transnational peregrinations? What sorts of argues that this broader SOA experience creates
transnational resource ows do Sanskritic the shared worldviews and personal relations
training institutions rely upon? What other amongst Latin American and US personnel that
transnational circuits do priests participate in? consolidate US hegemony.
These are just a few of the questions that Fullers Gills primary foci are human rights abuses
engaging study invites. by SOA graduates and oppositional movements
Mary Hancock University of California, Santa of Andean peasants and US activists. Chapter 7,
Barbara Disordering the Andes, argues that both the
heightened military violence and the
dispossession and displacement of coca-growing
Gill, Lesley. The School of the Americas: peasants in Chapare, Bolivia, and Putumayo,
military training and political violence in the Colombia, reect a shift in the post-cold war US
Americas. xviii, 281 pp., illus., bibliogr. London, militarys strategy away from the communist
Durham, N.C.: Duke Univ. Press, 2004. 14.50 threat and towards a war on drugs. This shift
(paper) provided a new rationale for bloated military
budgets and continued US intervention.
In this important, well-written and timely book, Consequently, SOAs new mission was to train
Lesley Gill turns a spotlight on the School of the soldiers from prime coca-producing areas for this
Americas (SOA), a US Army counter-insurgency new war on drugs. The consequences for
training centre for Latin American militaries. ordinary coca-growing peasants caught between
During its fty-year existence, SOA has produced the structural violence of neo-liberal economic
60,000 alumni, many of whom are implicated as programmes and military violence was tragic.
the principal perpetrators of human rights This tragedy, however, fuelled powerful

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716 Book reviews

opposition movements, especially the Fuerzas nancial institutions (p. 13). Consequently, her
Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and book opens up new horizons in our
Bolivias Movimento Hacia Socialismo (MAS). Gills understanding of social change enacted from
treatment of their evolution enhances our above. She argues that impunity-fuelled violence
understanding of the shifting political landscape is necessary to maintain the particular form of
that, for example, recently propelled the rst capitalist political and economic order in the
indigenous peasant leader, Evo Morales, into Americas (p. 239). Further, she contends that
Bolivias presidential ofce. ordinary people facing or witnessing extreme
Demonstrating the necessary connection social dislocations and violence will continue to
between military violence and neo-liberal demand an end to state-sponsored terrorism
economic programmes, Gill exposes the key bankrolled and organized by the United States.
political vulnerability of SOA. Chapter 8, By mapping connections that others have for too
Targeting the School of the Assassins , long ignored, Gill has produced a book of
examines the development of the movement to immense political and theoretical importance. It
close SOA. Activists rooted in earlier liberation should be required reading for anyone
theology and solidarity movements formed its concerned with peace and justice in our time.
core and steadily exposed the connection August Carbonella Memorial University of
between SOA and human rights abuse. Two key Newfoundland
moments put SOA on the political defensive. In
1996, activists disseminated recently discovered
SOA training manuals for inltrating unions, Leopold, Mark. Inside West Nile. x, 180 pp.,
peasant associations, and community maps, gs, illus., bibliogr. Oxford, Santa Fe:
organizations, and targeting political and peace James Currey Publishers/Sch. American
activists for assassination. In the late 1990s, SOA Research, 2005. 45.00 (cloth), 16.95
Watchs web page listed all SOA graduates, thus (paper)
enabling human rights groups to connect
alumni to documented cases of abuse. Mark Leopolds Inside West Nile endeavours to
Under increased public pressure, Congress explain why the post-colonial history and
slashed SOAs funding in 1999. SOA rebounded imagery of the northwest of Uganda have been
by launching a public relations campaign that so dominated by war and instability. The last
highlighted its new human rights training decade has seen sporadic guerrilla opposition to
programme and by opening its doors to social Yoweri Musevenis regime there, in the early
investigators such as Gill. Chapter 6, Human 1980s the brutality of the Obote II government
rights and wrongs, examines this programme. caused the near depopulation of the area, while
Gills participant observation during a week- Uganda in the 1970s was dominated by West
long human rights programme in 2000 Niles most infamous son, Idi Amin. Leopold has
exposed the pervasive cynicism and contempt produced a valuable addition to the literature on
for human rights talk among participants, as the anthropology of conict, but one which
well as their scrupulous avoidance of social emphasizes the analysis of the historical context
justice issues, accountability concerns, and US of contemporary unrest more than the lived
military policy. The programme distanced SOA experience of those affected by violence.
discursively from its cold war past. Yet SOA The logic behind this approach was
trainees continue to be selected based on their essentially pragmatic. Leopolds research in
success at neutralizing internal enemies. Uganda coincided with a major upsurge in rebel
Andean soldiers, for example, must activity, so that he was almost totally conned to
demonstrate progress in the war on drugs, the major town of the region, Arua. With
measured in terms of the number of arrests, traditional eldwork out of the question, and not
searches, seizures, cocaine pits destroyed, and, wishing to focus on refugees, Leopold chose to
in Colombia, by the dead bodies that the explore the evolution of the image of West Nilers
security forces produce (p. 158). as people of violence. In his opinion, the
Gill expands the denition of impunity to guerrilla opposition within West Nile to the
weave these disparate but connected stories current government is primarily a response to
together. More than the absence of administrative neglect and suspicion, which in
accountability, impunity is embedded in the turn results from outsiders perceptions that
process of social differentiation ... that extends West Nile is somehow not really of Uganda, and
from the military and powerful civilian elites to that West Nilers are instinctively prone to
the oppressive economic policies of international violence.

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Leopold attempts to show that external of the First World War. This peculiar
powerholders have repeatedly projected violence constitutional history is crucial in explaining the
onto its victims, narrative creating reality by areas lack of integration with the rest of
constantly depicting West Nilers as uncivilized Uganda.
savages who are the source of their own Ultimately Leopolds argument that West Nile
marginality and misfortunes. He attempts to is more victim than perpetrator of violence is
escape this false coherence and causality by largely convincing, though the book might have
telling his story backwards. His major task, of addressed in more detail West Nilers views on
course, is to convince the reader that Idi Amin is violent crime and concepts of honour and
unrepresentative of West Nile culture. Leopold retribution. Moreover, he probably
notes that almost all writers on Amin emphasize underestimates the extent of justied resentment
his origins, a Kakwa/Lugbara/Nubi from West felt in the rest of Uganda at the horrors
Nile, in explaining his character and behaviour. committed by Amins West Nile soldiers in the
Some accounts claim that Kakwa practised 1970s. Finally, it is not at all clear that the
human sacrice and cannibalism; others argue technique of writing history backwards avoids
that by growing up in a stateless society, Amin the risk of narrative coherence. Reverse
lacked the civilizing inuence of chiey rule. But chronology makes it less likely that by-ways and
mostly, writers have stressed Amins adopted dead-ends will be explored. None the less, this is
Nubi identity. The Nubi were originally southern a ne book, engagingly written, carefully
Sudanese soldiers from various ethnic groups researched, and open about its unavoidable
who were incorporated into the British imperial limitations.
army in Uganda in the 1890s. The Nubi were Shane Doyle University of Leeds
regarded by British ofcers as true warrior stock,
noble savages, who would keep the politically
threatening southern Ugandan mission boys Mabilia, Mar a. Breast feeding and sexuality:
under control. The Nubi population was behaviour, beliefs and taboos among the Gogo
constantly replenished throughout the colonial mothers in Tanzania (trans. Mary S. Ash). xi, 139
period by recruits from West Nile, who pp., map, illus., bibliogr. Oxford, New York:
frequently took on this supplementary identity Berghahn Books, 2005. 36.50 (cloth)
as a means of expressing their resentment
against southern Ugandan assumptions of This book, a rewritten Ph.D. dissertation, about
superiority. Leopolds analysis of the the interrelation between breast-feeding and
complexities of West Nile identity is particularly sexuality, is based on thirty months eld
rich. He shows skillfully how liminal the region research (from 1989 to 1992) among the Gogo, a
has been in the modern era, a border country, Bantu-speaking agropastoral people living in
economically marginalized, linguistically and Dodoma region in Tanzania. The study was part
culturally closer to the Congo and Sudan than of the paediatric implementation project with
the rest of Uganda. Amins antagonism to CUAMM, Doctors with Africa, an Italian NGO in
educated elites, his poor education, and his which the overall aim was to assess the paradox
aggression are all, Leopold implies, a product of that 50 to 60 per cent of Gogo children under 5
West Niles modern history, rather than inherent years of age suffer from (modest) malnutrition in
characteristics of West Nile culture. spite of the prolonged breast-feeding practice
The bulk of the book attempts to analyse the that often continues until the child reaches the
emergence of West Niles exceptionalism, its age of 3.
persistent association with violence, savagery, Using ethnography and survey-based
and separateness. This is largely achieved, research methods in a Gogo rural community of
though one could argue that Kigezi in southern close to 4,000 people, focusing on 114
Uganda was just as peripheralized by the breast-feeding women and their infants,
colonial economy, that Bunyoro in western Mabilias study seeks to discover the cultural and
Uganda was viewed by Europeans with at least social organizational elements which interact
as much antagonism and suspicion, and that with the infant feeding methods and to identify
Acholi suffered more from pre-colonial slavers the consequences of such factors for a childs
and Egyptian imperialists than did their West development and health. Inspired by Vanessa
Nile neighbours. What really distinguished West Mahers (edited volume) The anthropology of
Nile was that it began the colonial period as part breastfeeding: natural law or social construct
of the Congo Free State, was then transferred to (1992), Mabilia goes beyond the biological niche
Sudan, before nally joining Uganda at the start of breast-feeding and gives a rich and thorough

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718 Book reviews

analysis of the interrelated and inherent male partners, who are almost absent in the
relationship between the physiology (nature) of analysis had been given more space. The
breast-feeding and the behaviour (culture) of the ethnography of wicked women, and the fact
nurturing mother and the nurtured child. that women throughout much of Africa are
The breast-feeding practice among the Gogo, easily blamed often through sexual shaming
as in much of eastern and southern Africa, is for the spread and distribution of infectious
characterized by the child having access to the diseases, as well as for the ill-effects of
mothers breast whenever it desires until modernity, is disturbing.
suddenly at the age of 3 it is weaned. Mothers The male-dominant political ideology of
milk is, however, complemented with mixed breast-feeding, which puts a heavy toll on the
feeding, i.e. millet porridge, often from the age otherwise overburdened reproductive female
of 3 months, which impoverishes the advantage body leaving men without much responsibility
of exclusive breast-feeding. is a dangerous and risky cultural model. The
The complex cultural logic of the breast increasing mobility among the young and
feeding system and how the many post-partum sexually active generation and the high
taboos partly guide but also dictate the nursing prevalence of HIV/AIDS should have spurred
mothers behaviour especially her sexual more reection.
behaviour rest on the notion that body uids Such criticism notwithstanding, the book is
such as mothers blood, semen, and mothers to be highly recommended for students of
milk have the ambiguous capacity to create life international public health, African health
through sexual intercourse, but also to cause professionals, as well as for (upper-level) courses
and transmit sickness, evil, and even death. in African culture, medical anthropology, and
Thus, maternal milk turns bad when such the anthropology of body and gender.
social regulations are transgressed by the Liv Haram Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala
mother. Consequently, if the nurtured child gets
ill with a prolonged diarrhoea, the mother may
be accused of killing her own child because she Mead, Margaret. The world ahead: an
has had extra-marital sexual intercourse. anthropologist anticipates the future.
Conversely, if the child grows well, it is perceived x, 348 pp., illus., bibliogr. Oxford, New York:
as evidence of the mothers moral worth, far Berghahn Books, 2005. 50.00 (cloth), 16.95
beyond her role as a mother. (paper)
In the last chapter, Mabilia draws on Mauss
and argues that breast-feeding and the Margaret Mead is the Jack Kerouac of
circularity of giving and receiving milk, i.e. anthropology. She wrote an enormous amount,
good milk : good nurturer = right quickly, and without revision. Much of what she
growth : good mother (p. 103), can be wrote is forgettable, but occasionally there is real
conceived as the gift. The use of Mausss brilliance in it. Also like Kerouac, Mead
theory seems a bit too far-fetched, not because it chronicled the American road, but whereas
is difcult to see the nursing mother as a Kerouacs road was geographic,
gift-giver, offering her maternal milk (the transcontinental, Meads was temporal, the
supreme gift), or to see the nursing child as the American national trajectory from its immigrant
receiver. In Mauss, however, the receiver of the past to its space-age future.
gift must, sooner or later, reciprocate with a The current volume is the sixth in a series
counter-gift. Although Mabilia argues that the devoted to Meads work on contemporary
child, by sucking the maternal milk, reproduces Western cultures. The world ahead presents
the mothers milk, giving milk, receiving milk, twenty-ve essays (from the period 1943-77) that
to have milk again (p. 114), this seems to entail a the editor, Robert Textor, considers most
symbiosis rather than an instance of Maussian directly relevant to Anticipatory Anthropology,
reciprocity. that is, which treated the future systematically
The tension between tradition and (modern) (p. 1). Yet there is much that is not systematic in
changes becomes obvious in the critical voices these essays, most of which were written for
of the elderly women when they admonish public occasions and audiences, and address
young mothers whenever they transgress the such topics as the family, peace and war, social
rules and obligations of the breast-feeding security, urbanization, and the life cycle, all
system. The study would also have gained much understood in terms of Meads ideas about the
if such counter-discourses, as well as social increasing pace of social change in the modern
encounters between young women and their world. What strikes the reader above all in these

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essays is Meads willingness to make also does her willingness to shoot from the hip,
authoritative pronouncements, some of which and to generalize on the basis of little apparent
seem astute, and others, ill informed, evidence other than her own experience. The
contradictory, or erroneous. results are worth reading, but one must know
Take, for example, a 1962 essay on The how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Since
psychology of warless man. The premise is an Meads death, one hears anthropologists lament
interesting one: that nuclear weapons having that we no longer know how to engage a public
made wars between nation-states impossible, audience the way she did. We need to
humanity will have to gure out how to live remember, however, that having access to an
without such wars. For Mead, the problem is audience does not guarantee that one knows
primarily one of social change. When what one is talking about.
international peacekeeping bodies replace Richard Handler University of Virginia
national armies, she asks, what sorts of
institutions will evolve to control local-level
violence? Yet despite repeated assertions that Poirier, Sylvie. A world of relationships:
war is primarily a social phenomenon, and not a itineraries, dreams, and events in the Australian
mere matter of hostility and aggression (p. 83), Western Desert. xi, 303 pp., maps, plates,
Mead also describes it as originating in mans bibliogr. London, Toronto: Univ. Toronto Press,
primitive impulse to protect his women and his 2005. 42.00 (cloth), 20.00 (paper)
children (p. 81). And in the end, Mead is
worried more by the psychological than the This is a revised version of a book originally
social consequences of a warless world: how published in French entitled Les jardins du
are young males going to test their mettle in nomade: cosmologie, personne et territoire dans le
this unprecedented situation (p. 84)? Despite the dsert occidental australien (1996). It is based on
self-condence with which she puts forward three years eldwork in Balgo (Wirrimanu) and
sociological and psychological generalizations, nearby outstations in the northern part of the
the whole adds up to less than the sum of its Gibson Desert of Western Australia, part of the
parts, precisely because the parts are larger Western Desert.
contradictory. And yet there are ashes of Balgo was established as a Catholic mission
brilliance in this essay, as when Mead describes in 1939, populated by desert Aborigines, most of
the social solidarity of the modern nation-state in whom identify in broad socio-linguistic terms as
terms that anticipate Benedict Andersons Kukatja and Walmatjari. The population of the
Imagined communities (1983): organized Balgo area totals approximately one thousand.
invocations of their imagination bound men to Administrative authority was transferred from the
... fellow citizens whom they had never met Catholic Church to state government in 1984.
(p. 80). Catholic inuence has continued, involving
Other essays justify the editors claims about mutual accommodation between the Church
Meads skill as a futurist. Her statement on and Aborigines (for whom priorities have
ageing and retirement, delivered as testimony to included maintenance of ritual life, high levels of
the US Senate in 1968, is not only cogent and mobility, and return to outstations from the
comprehensive, it remains as relevant today as it 1980s). Bureaucratic administration of what is
was then. Not only are there sensible now called the Balgo Hills Aboriginal
social-democratic prescriptions on income Community has not been a priority for
security and medical insurance, there are Aborigines, and has consequently been difcult
anthropologically informed suggestions on the to achieve. Nationally, Balgo has at times been
range of variations possible in relationships seen as a problem and a dangerous place for
between older and younger persons, on cultural health, education, and other government
factors affecting ageing, and on life-long (mainly non-indigenous) staff, who have been
learning. periodically removed. It is telling that the
Meads most coherent account of American community ofce is located in the town of
culture was the 1942 monograph, And keep your Kununurra, several hundred kilometres to the
powder dry, reprinted as the second volume of north.
this series. The insights she articulated there, on Though readers sensibilities about history, as
the relationship between Americas immigrant well as objective circumstances, make it difcult
history and its family structure, and between to write about the Aboriginal world as if it were
American moralism and child-rearing practices, autonomous, in a place like Balgo this seems
reappear in these essays to good effect. But so more plausible than in a rural town or city. In

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the main, this is the strategy Poirier adopts indigenous expression of politics and historicity.
producing a worthwhile combination of Throughout the book Poirier emphasizes the
ethnography and analysis. While approximately theme of rhizomatic relatedness among all
the rst half of the book hews fairly closely to entities and agencies of the dwelt-in world, an
the themes of other Australianist and Western indigenous cosmology which does not entertain
Desert ethnographers (particularly Fred Myers) the bounding off of human from non-human,
landscape as medium of social relations; nature from culture, or the relevance of dreams
personal identity as composed of relationships from daily life.
among people, place and dreaming; the In conclusion, Poirier returns to other
negotiated, exible, and permeable quality of dimensions of Aboriginal reality. She observes
social relations the second half deepens our that, on her last visits, Balgo residents have been
understandings of desert social practice and completely absorbed in sorry business,
cultural themes through a close focus on dreams large-scale mourning for deaths, many resulting
and dreaming, with implications for Australian directly from suicide, violence, and accident,
and wider comparison. often alcohol-fuelled, as well as poor health.
The creative dimension of Tjukurrpa or While sorry business is an enactment of social
Dreaming, by now a key concept in responsibility in indigenous mode, the rst and
Australianist ethnography, is everywhen (as last chapters remind us of the profoundly
W.E.H. Stanner put it), continously present and difcult issues facing remote communities like
part of daily life. Western Desert Aborigines Balgo, where active endogenous social life does
(among others) recognize dreaming in sleep not simply persist unmodied.
(kapukurri) as closely linked to and a means of Francesca Merlan Australian National University
interaction with this vital dimension (see Robert
Tonkinsons Aboriginal dream-spirit beliefs in a
contact situation, in Ronald Berndt (ed.), Regan, Anthony J. & Helga M. Griffin
Australian Aboriginal Anthropology, 1970). In order (eds). Bougainville before the conflict. xl, 566
to enhance receptivity, they emphasize keeping pp., maps, tables, gs, illus., bibliogrs.
the body open (tintirrpuwa, going through or Canberra: Pandanus Books, 2005. $85.00
permeable) and use massage techniques to (cloth)
achieve this. Indigenous notions of dreaming
also feature a concept of travel by the spirit The island province of Bougainville is the
(kurrunpa), hence its lightness. Dreams may be furthest from Papua New Guineas capital, Port
shared, a further indication of the permeability Moresby. Geographically it is part of the
among persons and across different states (e.g. Solomon Islands; mission links reinforced that
communication between living and the nexus, and many of the 200,000 people argue
deceased, between human and non-human that their black skins signal deeper differences
beings). from the redskins in the rest of the country.
Poirier gives many examples of dreams and When PNG applied to join the United Nations
discusses how people are socialized to be in 1975, the national delegation (sponsored by
receptive to the possible signicance of dreams Australia, the colonial power) was led by Ebia
in their daily lives: their potential as a kind of Olewale, who had entered Parliament as a
continuously available messaging system. This Papuan separatist. A rival delegation was led by
extends recent Western Desert ethnography, Father John Momis, member for Bougainville
which has pointed to the importance of and de facto chair of PNGs Constitutional
contingency, possibility, permeability, and Planning Committee. Frustrated in their drive for
negotiability as fundamental dimensions of autonomy within PNGs new constitution,
social practice, apparently contrasting with Bougainvilleans were demanding separate
indigenous insistence on permanence (Law), independence.
but actually providing means for constant So fragile was the countrys unity that many
reinterpretation of how things are. Poirier also citizens including many in Bougainville did
points to the need to understand the element of not know where Papua New Guinea might be.
human agency in indigenous ways of encrypting In these circumstances, Momis might easily have
reinterpretation and innovation. She pursues this represented PNG and Olewale a delegation of
topic through an analysis (in chapter 6) of ritual Papuan separatists. The crisis that produced the
transformation, principally the dream-inspired actual alignment was the development of
reformulation of mythic pathways, actions, and Panguna copper mine in Bougainville, the main
identities of gures celebrated in ritual, as source of PNGs domestic revenue and an

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essential element of the countrys chapters. He left university to join the BRA,
independence. But the mine also outraged the fought through the war, engaged in peace
dispossessed landowners, who resented the negotiations, and served as a minister in
environmental damage, the ow of benets to Bougainvilles post-war government. He parted
PNG, and the inux of young, single redskins company with the mystical Francis Ona when
to operate the mine. the latter boycotted the peace process. In 2004,
Panguna fanned the embers of Bougainvilles ignoring seven years of peace-making, Ona had
sense of separateness. Deft footwork by the himself crowned king of independent
national politicians averted secession, but Bougainville. His ally, Noah Musingku, another
landowners grievances accumulated until 1988, fantasist and creator of fraudulent pyramid
when Francis Onas militants sabotaged the schemes, became Prince David. Having
mine. As violence escalated, so did the claims of described this hubris, Tanis reviews the pre-war
the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) and circumstances of Nagovisi and the land disputes
the ambitions of political leaders. Savage and that led to Onas supremacy and nally to his
confusing civil war raged for eight years until a descent into absurdity.
New Zealand-mediated truce initiated the This is not a run-of-the-mill monograph. Like
rebuilding of peace. By then an economic other perceptive writers, Tanis raises more
embargo and guerrilla warfare had wrecked the questions than anyone could answer. He asks
islands cash economy and social services. PNGs about the nature of PNGs stake in Bougainville;
Defence Force, the BRA and the (anti-BRA) he ponders Australias interests in Panguna; and
Bougainville Resistance Movement all fractured. he wonders what unseen forces global and
The national government lurched between regional contributed to the tragedy. He
economic and political crises, the insurgents concludes with the most radical of all questions:
failed to win diplomatic allies, and both sides After gaining political independence from
suspected Australias actions and inactions. It has colonial masters, do all third world nations enjoy
taken eight years of patient negotiation to only brief periods of real independence? Must
rebuild a provincial government and restore a they all then experience civil wars and
measure of civility. revolutions and go bankrupt and join the queue
The case for secession insists that awaiting solutions from elsewhere?
Bougainvilleans differ from other Papua New Donald Denoon Australian National University
Guineans, culturally and ethnically as well as
geographically and in the pigmentation of many
Bougainvilleans. Bougainville before the conflict Rydstrm, Helle. Embodying morality: growing
addresses the question: Was Bougainville up in rural northern Vietnam. xx, 232 pp., tables,
somehow inherently different in the combination illus., bibliogr. Honolulu: Univ. Hawaii Press,
of its mini-cultures? Or was it just another slice 2003. 45.00 (cloth)
of Melanesia, a microcosm that reected the
ethnic diversity of Papua New Guinea and the This monograph is a study of the different ways
wider region? (p. xxviii). in which girls and boys learn to demonstrate
This ambitious volume is handsomely good morality in Thinh Tri, a rural commune in
produced by Pandanus, the pre-eminent northern Vietnam. The main protagonists are
publisher of Papua New Guinea studies. With nine girls and four boys, the oldest of whom
support from Australian aid, Rio Tinto, and the was 13. Extensive use is made of transcripts of
Australian National University, it is helpfully recorded interactions between the children and
illustrated, and the editors and contributors have other family members. Rydstrm understands
lavished affection as well as professional care on morality as a social practice that needs to be
the project. What is most impressive is not their performed appropriately. Central to her approach
(inevitable) failure ultimately to answer the is a focus on the bodily dimension of learning, a
headline questions, but their exhaustive and dimension that is crucial for the dissimilar
many-sided investigations. Its twenty-eight expectations of girls and boys. The author makes
chapters include natural and social sciences, frequent reference to Bourdieus work on practice
colonial and post-colonial history, and many and the body as an important element in the
participant accounts, mainly by Bougainvilleans. learning and enactment of symbolic schemes.
It is impossible to summarize the richness of Inspired by the attentiveness of local residents to
these studies, memoirs, and vignettes. James the childrens genitals, she draws on Derrida,
Taniss reections (Nagovisi villages) are typical conceptualizing Thinh Tri as a phallocentric
of the honesty and emotional power of many community. The villagers, she argues, think of

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722 Book reviews

femaleness with reference to maleness as Other, domains in which socialist educational


unmarked, or simply as not male. In this context, campaigns have raised awareness over decades.
I found the notion of girls as blank slates On the other hand, the few places where
interesting. While boys embody their fathers Rydstrm briey muses on the impact of
lineage, girls are like unwritten pieces of paper Marxism-Leninism on local notions of
who require a more intensive upbringing. socialization, she fails to account for the
In the central chapters 4 and 5, we learn continuities or overlaps with Neo-Confucian and
about the important Vietnamese concept tinh French colonial education. Despite these
cam (lit. feelings) and that this is primarily shortcomings, Embodying morality offers an
applicable to girls. Rydstrm conceptualizes tinh interesting and detailed account of early
cam as a social practice whereby one childhood in late socialist rural Vietnam. As such,
demonstrates good morality. It is about social it will be of interest to those working in Vietnam
competence, the skills required to accommodate and those working with children elsewhere.
oneself to others and avoid confrontation. Boys, Markus Schlecker Max Planck Institute, Halle
on the other hand, learn to put their foot down.
In a later chapter, this contrast is shown to be
reected in different body styles. Women carry Salamandr a, Christa. A new old Damascus:
their bodies in a nimble manner, while men authenticity and distinction in urban Syria. xii, 199
move conspicuously and occupy much space. pp., map, illus., bibliogr. Bloomington: Indiana
The book also includes sketches of different Univ. Press, 2005. 15.95 (cloth)
historical contexts in which female morality was
dened, embodied, and evaluated. The author The long international demonization of the
nds both changes and continuities, but more of Syrian state has also left us with few scholarly or
the latter. In another chapter, we are given a popular studies of the country. This gives
brief account of the contemporary educational Salamandras study additional importance, and
system at primary school level. Here, the author she has chosen an interesting topic. Based
looks mostly at textbooks and nds very similar mainly on eldwork between 1992 and 1994, the
roles of assertive boys and submissive girls. book focuses on the notion old Damascus as
On the whole, I was not convinced that both a market commodity and a factor in claims
Bourdieus theory of practice was put to good to social superiority made by the well-to-do.
use. That boys and girls learn to behave Salamandra has chapters on the history and
differently in Vietnam and that body postures class demographics of the contemporary city,
and bodily metaphors matter in this context is gender and display, and the partial
all rather obvious. The male-centredness in redevelopment of sites in the old city. Her
Vietnamese culture I felt was often drawn too strongest material comes in her penultimate
crudely. Bourdieus work could have inspired a chapter on the practices of identity assertion
more subtle and complex account. The problem and boundary construction, which peak during
also derives in part from the authors rather Ramadan. Here we learn of class snobberies. As
elusive use of key concepts, especially morality one woman explains, the poor fast out of belief,
and tinh cam. This surfaces already on page 3, but elite Damascenes fast as a mode of
where she writes that morality is a social distinction (p. 95). Indeed, the deeply secular
practice and a few sentences further down, biases of many well-to-do Syrians is suggested
The relationship between social practice and by the fact that the only reference to political
morality is a dynamic one. Is morality a social Islam in the book appears when a librarian
practice or something else to which it has a suggests the media and public culture during
dynamic relationship? Later we learn that Ramadan contribute to support for Muslim
practising tinh cam is a social practice and that fundamentalism (p. 101).
the actor thereby demonstrates good morality. We also learn that Ramadan involves a
At other places tinh cam seems to be month-long competitive consumption spree for
synonymous with morality. Also, to argue that Damascene elites and that Ramadan socializing
tinh cam is an almost exclusively female concern has begun to spead beyond the home, into the
is rather daring, I think. This may reect the young but burgeoning world of Syrian public
authors better access to female informants. culture (p. 98). Well-to-do Damascenes often
Another shortcoming is that the author tends break the fast in expensive restaurants with
to take statements of her adult informants on ostentatiously nostalgic dcor and cuisine.
morality, education, and socialization almost at Salamandra describes these settings, and the
face value. This is one of the most important foodstuffs, well. Yet she makes no systematic

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attempt to locate their clientele sociologically in analysis of class politics, yet this undermines her
terms of numbers, family background, wealth, interest in the relation between the old
or actual social relations with others of their Damascus discourse and status competition. We
class, and those richer and poorer than are offered no case material, family histories, or
themselves. Equally we are offered little on the statistics to indicate what actual resources, or
evolution of these new nostalgic styles, and less sources of power, are contested by whom, in
on the scale and politics of the service sector of what settings, with what results. Nor do we ever
the economy. Rather, Salamandras argument even begin to glimpse how the old Damascus
proceeds with brief, interesting examples linked discourse has beneted, or been used to harm,
by assertion. It is lively, but ethnography lite. other afuent people who may be Shite,
Watching Syrian TV at home during Ramadan Christian, newly rich, Aleppine, or cousins who
is another aspect of the evocation of old share a family name.
Damascus. Salamandra gives a good account of Salamandras interest in the old Damascus
the mix of documentary lms on old houses, discourse, coupled with her focus on, roughly,
customs, and food specialities, folkloric song scions of families notable during the French
and dance programmes, and historical soap Protectorate tends to conceal the past thirty-ve
operas serialized throughout the month. TV years of dictatorial rule by the Asads. It ignores
schedules suggest how notions of authencity, the fact that everyone in Syria who has a
tradition, and old Damascus are contradictory modicum of wealth has also had, of necessity, to
and contested. The government, after all, is compromise with the regime. In effect,
necessarily committed to the idea of Salamandras book has become a further
homogeneous national culture while favouring example of the very phenomenon she set out to
individuals with particular regional, sectarian, study. However, if A new old Damascus is read in
and class interests. Old city nostalgia is attractive tandem with Wedeens Ambiguities of
because the purported honourable, innocent domination: politics, rhetoric, and symbols in
past contrasts with a corrupt present. Nostalgia contemporary Syria (1999), then Salamandras eye
also allows some people to celebrate a rooted for cultural detail and her quirky writing style
Damascene identity, thus distancing themselves can add quite a feel for understanding
from their Alawi rulers, and the rapidly growing well-to-do Syrians today.
city that has always been home to a jumble of Nancy Lindisfarne University of Oxford
peasants and refugees, the latest eeing Iraq.
Throughout the book Salamandra locates
Damascene opinion (p. 109) via the comments Topno, Sem. Musical culture of the Munda
of a number of well-known public gures, tribe. xiv, 589 pp., maps, illus., bibliogr. New
mostly middle-class professionals of varied family Delhi: Concept Publishing, 2004. Rs900
and political loyalties. Yet she fails to ponder the (cloth)
pundits social location, though each has played
a long, active role in shaping the old Damascus Tribal music is a much neglected area of study in
idiom. Rather, her upper-middle-class or the anthropology of India. This book by Sem
intellectual informants (p. 4) slide into a broad, Topno is an attempt to ll this existing gap in
problematic, category better glossed here as the the literature. Consisting of six parts, the book
well-to-do. Salamandra herself variously provides a comprehensive coverage of all facets
describes them as the elite, Damascene elites, of Munda life, linking it to their musical
old leading families, big families, notables, tradition. As we know, songs and dance are
and socialites. The labels most often refer to popular forms of amusement in tribal societies.
people with family connections to the former Music is the reection both of cultural history
Sunni aristocracy and haute bourgeoisie, but and of everyday life experiences of the Munda
Salamandra seems also to have included more or people. The perception, conceptualization, and
less everyone she talked to as participants in a articulation of ideas, attitudes, values, and
quite homogeneous old Damascus discourse, emotions of the Munda people get expressed
among them the otherwise unlocated librarian through their music, and the contents of their
mentioned above, a Damascene English songs are derived from the natural world and
teacher, and an Alawi friend. Studying up is social environment (p. 5). The author feels that
always difcult for anthropologists; studying up the nature of song and dance in a particular
without a clear methodology is a nightmare. society is determined by the economic resources,
In short, Salamandra seems to have neither social cohesiveness, and political structure. He
the information nor the inclination to offer an further suggests that all auspicious occasions in

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724 Book reviews

Munda life social, economic, religious, and are an alienated and divided lot. They are fast
political are celebrated with some sort of losing their self-esteem and cultural identity. The
accomplishment of music and dance. age-old musical tradition of the Munda is slowly
Music grows out of life and is deeply rooted but surely on the verge of extinction. In a
in the cultural tradition of the Munda. The changing scenario, even the performers are
making of music and its rendering through treated as backward and uncivilized by so-called
performance is a continual process in which the enlightened community members. Though all
perceived stable features of socially organized the musical instruments are still in use,
environment are continually created and traditional forms, styles, and rhythms have been
sustained. The three musical activities, that is, replaced by modern ones. The traditional songs
singing, dancing, and playing of musical and dances have further lost their melody and
instruments, are important features of Munda rhythms. In fact, the melodious sound of the
musical tradition. Besides its role as a means of dumang is no more heard on a regular basis in a
amusement, Munda musical tradition is the Munda village.
storehouse of the experience, knowledge, and However, it would have been better had
wisdom of the community. In music the the author provided full details of the
experience of the perceptual world attains the bibliographical references. One nds many
status of a temporal character and its quotidian incomplete references, while the details of some
features mingle with the celestial. It is in this of the cited references are not found in the
form that music carries the deeper meaning of bibliography. Many of the references in the
life. A piece of music, however, cannot be bibliography are not refered to in the text.
perceived in isolation, for it is related to a wider Surprisingly enough, the author has not given
system. The author describes a variety of Munda adequate coverage (only on pages 56773) of
musical instruments: wind, string, and one of his major arguments as to how there has
percussion. While wind and string instruments been a degeneration of musical culture among
are used in all the occasions excepting dance, the Munda. For a better understanding and
percussion instruments are used only during appreciation, the author should have included
dance. Every dance has its selective set of photographs of the instruments used by the
musical instruments. All the musical instruments Munda. The book contains rich ethnographic
in this community are handled by men, barring data, but these are not matched by a supporting
a few exceptions. conceptual and theoretical framework.
The music and dance of contemporary However, those limitations do not detract
Munda society do not conform to traditional from the merits of the book, which will give its
forms and style. In many Munda villages, readers an awareness of the rich cultural fabric
traditional songs and dances are no longer of the Munda while furthering their
performed. The author feels that the inuence of understanding through the inclusion of many
modern education and the impact of Christianity original songs of the community with their
and Hinduization together have deteriorated the English translation.
Munda musical tradition. The Munda of today Deepak Kumar Behera Sambalpur University

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 12, 675-724


Royal Anthropological Institute 2006