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Sister M. Inez Hilger, O.S.B.

1891-1977
Author(s): Robert F. Spencer
Source: American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 80, No. 3 (Sep., 1978), pp. 650-653
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/677023
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650 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [80, 1978]

(1960c); at the same time, one cannot lose sight


of her broader ethnographic knowledge and its
application.
Sister Inez came into anthropology compara-
tively late in life. Second of nine children in a
Rhenish-German family in rural Minne-
sota- she had a good deal to tell of the rigors of
pioneer life and German ethnicity--she entered
the Benedictine Order and completed her vows
in 1914. Over these early years, much of her ac-
tivity was devoted to teaching, both in grade
school and high school. Her B.A. degree from
the University of Minnesota in 1923 was in
history. Moving into sociology, she completed
her M.A. at Catholic University in 1925.
Continuing her teaching, Sister Inez gradually
became involved with the Minnesota and Wis-

consin Chippewa. Her Ph.D. was completed i


SISTER M. INEZ HILGER, O.S.B sociology, anthropology, and psychology a
1891-1977 Catholic University in 1939, her dissertation o
Chippewa families in Minnesota reflecting no
Dr. Inez Hilger, Sister Inez, as she was affec-
only descriptive ethnography but an interest
tionately known by a host of friends and applied
col- anthropology as well.
The
leagues in anthropology, died in the Benedic- studies of childhood in various cultures
tine house in St. Joseph, Minnesota, on 18 now
May began in earnest. Another year was spent
1977. She was 85. With her passing, anthro-
with the Chippewa and comparative researc
undertaken among the Arapaho and Cheyenne
pology has lost a scholar of international reputa-
tion, an indefatigable ethnographic field-
Sister Inez retained her commitment to the
worker. Plains-Woodland cultures for the remainder of
The work of Sister Inez represented a classic her life. After receiving her doctorate, she wrote
and substantive ethnography. Like Boas and his widely, continuing her fieldwork, and at th
students, her interests lay in a careful recoverysame time, her teaching. She taught variously a
of the facts from the nonliterate peoples--and the St. Cloud School of Nursing, at St. Bene-
there were many -among whom she worked. dict's College, and visited a number of institu-
John M. Cooper was her first mentor in anthro- tions as lecturer. Numerous foundations con-
pology. Her careful field methods she learnedtributed to her field support. Her more
from him, although she preferred not to go sodramatic field investigations, supported by the
far as Father Cooper into the formulations ofAmerican Philosophical Society and later by the
the Kulturkreislehre. Historicism, in short, was Wenner-Gren Foundation, led her to the
not her forte. Sister Inez focused her attention Araucanians in southern Chile, to whom she
instead on the role of the child in the various
made two trips. In the 1960s she was supported
by the National Geographic Society for work
cultures she analyzed. This interest was sparked
by Margaret Mead, whom Sister Inez metwith while
the Ainu of Japan. Her busy life included
still a graduate student at Catholic University in fieldwork, teaching, lecturing widely in
writing,
Washington. more than fifty countries, arranging museum
Never drawn to the personality theoriesexhibits,
cur- and traveling. Sister Inez was highly
innovative, making extensive use of photo-
rent in anthropology three and four decades
ago, Sister Inez saw the child as part of a graphy
whole and recordings in her fieldwork, partic-
ularly
cultural and social system. Her writings attest to with respect to the Ainu. She was an ex-
cellent
her wish to depict the place of the child and the administrator, not only in the field,
range of institutions touching childhood where
in se- she made effective use of assistants, ac-
knowledging their help, but in her religious
lected social systems. Sister Inez's contribution
order
lay in the application of carefully controlled andas well. She continued her commitment to
precise techniques for the field. Among her
anthropology despite occasional but heavy ad-
ministrative assignments from her Order.
works, for example, is a manual for fieldworkers
for the analysis of the child's role in culture
Cheerful, brimming with ideas, Sister Inez

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OBITUARIES 651

carried with (November).


her a refreshing
view and a 1941 Why
sly Teach the Social Sciences
humor. As in a
religious, Schools of Nursing. Trained Nurse
preferring toandw
Benedictine Hospital Review (March).
habit, and at tim
at the changing 1942 Reviewgarbof Professional of Adjustments in
the
at times obliged Nursing, by to Eugenia Spalding. Trainedco
make
ing in countries Nurse and Hospital
in Review Latin (May). A
laws prohibiting 1943a Ahsahwaince, His Hundred Years.
ecclesiasti
her hair grow Mid-America
and (April). (See also Ahsah-
bought d
Poking fun at waince, His 100 Years. Catholic Digest
herself, she
wear "civilian [June].)
clothes." Her
experience, 1943b Review
her of Principles of travels
wide Ethics, by
dote and humor, Thomas Verner andMoore. Trained Nurse
above
to new ideas made her a welcome visitor and Hospital Review (September).
wherever she went. She is much missed. 1944a Father de Smet. Christian Family
(February), Techny, Illinois.
ROBERT F. SPENCER 1944b Ceremonia para dar nombre a un
niflo indio chippewa. America Indigena
University of Minnesota
4:237-242.
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF
1944c Chippewa Burial and Mourning Cus
SISTER M. INEZ HILGER
toms. American Anthropologist 46:
1934 Methods for the Promotion of Medical 564-568.

Social Service to Catholic Hospitals.1945 Hos-The Catholic Sociologist and the Ameri-
pital Progress (October), Catholic Hospital can Indian. American Catholic Socio-
Association, Milwaukee. logical Review (December).
1935a Indian Women Preparing Bulrush 1946a Notes on Cheyenne Child Life. Am
Mats. Indians at Work 2(2):41. can Anthropologist 48:60-69.
1935b Indian Women Making Birch-bark 1946b Narrative of Oscar One Bull, a Sioux
Receptacles. Indians at Work 3(3):19-21. Indian. Mid-America (July).
1935c A "Peace and Friendship" Medal. 1946c Ethnological Field Study . . . the
Minnesota History (September). Araucanian Indian Child of Chile. 1946

1936a Chippewa Customs. Primitive Man Year Book of the American Philosophic
9:17-24. Society. Pp. 202-205.
1936b Chippewa Hunting and Fishing 1947 Cus- Ceremonia para dar nombre a un nii
toms. Minnesota Conservationist, No. 2-3 chippewa. Soiedad de Geografia e His
(April), pp. 17-19. toria, Anales 22:166-171.
1936c In the Early Days of Wisconsin, an 1949 Research Organizations Interested in
Amalgamation of Chippewa and European Ethnic Sociology: Addresses, Spheres of
Cultures. Wisconsin Archaeologist, n.s. Interest and Types of Assistance Given.
16:32-49. American Catholic Sociological Review
1936d Chippewa Prenatal Food and Conduct (October).
Taboos. Primitive Man 9:46-48. 1951a Review of Culture in Crisis: A Study
1936e Letters and Documents of Bishop of the Hopi Indians, by Laura Thompson.
Baraga extant in the Chippewa Country American Catholic Sociological Review
American Catholic Historical Society, (June>).
Records, 47:292-302. 1951b To the Nurse: A Challenge. Nursing
1937a Chippewa Interpretation of Natural World (June).
Phenomena. Scientific Monthly 45: 1951c In the Interest of Chilean Archeology.
178-179. American Anthropologist 53:429.
1939 A Social Survey of One Hundred Fifty 1951d Some Customs Related to Arikara
Chippewa Indian Families on the White Indian Child Life. Primitive Man 24:
Earth Reservation of Minnesota. Catholic 67-71.
1951e
University Press, Washington, D.C. Menomini Child Life. Journal de la
(Doc-
toral dissertation, 251 pp.) Sociate des Am~ricanistes de Paris 40:
1940 Human Relations in the Sickroom. 163-171.

Trained Nurse and Hospital Review 1951f Chippewa Child Life and Its Cultural

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652 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [80, 1978]

Background. Bureau of From the Prehistoric Eth-


American Period to the Coming
nology, Bulletin 146 (204 of pp.).
the Europeans, by George E. Hyde.
1952a Arapaho Child Life and Its Cultural American Anthropologist 62:704-705.
Background. Bureau of American Eth- 1960b (with Margaret Mondloch) Emelia, an
nology, Bulletin 148 (253 pp.). Araucanian of the Andes. American
1952b Cien Anos de Vida Benedictina en los Benedictine Review (March-June). Pp.
Estados Unidos. In Revista Liturgica 83-98.

Argentina. Afio 17, No. 153. Pp. 88-90. 1960c Una Araucana de los Andes. Notas
(Trans. from the English into Spanish by del Centro de Estudios Antropolog
Sister Amanda of St. Scholastica, Argen- 4:5-17. Universidad de Chile, Santiago
tina.) de Chile.

1953a Ethnological Field Study of the Beliefs, 1960d Some Early Customs of the Menomini
Customs, and Traditions in the Develop- Indians. Journal de la Societe des Ameri-
ment, Rearing, and Training of the canistes 49:45-68.
Araucanian Indian Child in Chile. 1952 1960e Field Guide to the Ethnological Stud
Year Book of the American Philosophical of Child Life. Behavior Science Field

Society. Pp. 260-270. Guides, Vol. 1. Human Relations Area


1953b Ethnological Field Study. . . the Files Press, New Haven.
Araucanian Indian Child of Argentina.1961 Review of Children of their Fathers:
1952 Year Book of the American Philo- Growing Up among the Ngoni of Nyasa-
sophical Society. Pp. 270-271. land, by Margaret Read. American Cath-
1953c Review of Anthropology Today: An olic Sociological Review (Spring). Pp.
Encyclopedic Inventory, and An Ap- 58-59.

praisal of Anthropology Today. American 1962a Review of Ojibwa Myths and Legends,
Catholic Sociological Review (October). by Sister Bernard Coleman, Ellen Frogner,
1953d Contributions to Indian Rights and and Estelle Eich. Minnesota History
Resources, an Eight-state Conference at (December). Pp. 192-193.
the University of Minnesota, November 1962b (with Margaret Mondloch) Rock Paint-
9-10, 1953. Pp. 107-109, 116, 119. Uni- ings in Argentina. Papers in Honor of
versity of Minnesota Press. Martin Gusinda, S.V.D. Anthropos 27:
1953e Review of Primitive Man and his 514-523.

World Picture, by Wilhelm Koppers. 1963 Culture and Human Behavior. The

American Benedictine Review. Pp. Mainichi Daily News, February 3


375-376. Tokyo, Japan.
1954 An Ethnographic Field Method. In 1964 Culture Changes in Japan. Ame
Method and Perspective in Anthropology, Benedictine Review 15:4.

Papers in Honor of Wilson D. Wallis. 1966a Araucanian Customs: An Afternoon


Robert F. Spencer, ed. Pp. 25-42. Uni- with an Araucanian Family on the Coas
versity of Minnesota Press. Range of Chile. Journal de la Societe d
1957 Araucanian Child Life and its Cultural Am~ricanistes 55:1.
Background. Smithsonian Miscellaneous 1966b (with Margaret Mondloch) Huenun
Collections, Vol. 133 (439 pp.). Namku: An Araucanian Indian of the
1958 Naming a Chippewa Child. Wisconsin Andes Remembers the Past. Universi
Archaeologist 39:120-126. of Oklahoma Press.

1959a Some Customs of the Chippewa 1967a on theJapan's "Sky People," The Vanishing
Turtle Mountain Reservation of North Ainu. National Geographic (February).
Dakota. North Dakota History 26: 1967b (with Margaret Mondloch) The Arau-
123-132. canian Weaver. Boletin del Museo Na-
1959b Review of Indian Villages of the cional e Historia Natural 30:291-298.
Illinois Country: Historic Tribes, by Santiago, Chile.
Wayne C. Temple. American Anthropol- 1968 Mysterious "Sky People": Japan's
ogist 61:146-147. Dwindling Ainu. In Vanishing Peoples
1959c Review of Introduction to Cultural of the Earth. National Geographical
Anthropology, by Mischa Titiev. American Society, Washington.
Catholic Review. Pp. 167-168. 1969 The Ainu of Japan. National Geo-
1960a Review of Indians of the High Plains: graphic Society Research Report, 1964

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All use subject to https://about.jstor.org/terms
OBITUARIES 653

Projects.
Projects. 1970c (ed.) 91-103.
Pp. 91-103. National Geographic
Pp. Die Reise nach Amerika, byNat
Society,
Society,
Washington. Frederick William Hilger. In Zeitschrift
Washington.
1970a Notes on Crow Indian Culture. fur Kulturaustausch, (January-March).
Baessler-Archiv 18:253-294. Institut fuir Auslandsbeziehungen, Stutt-
1970b Review of Canoes of the Ainu, by gart, Germany.
American Educational Films and the 1971 Together with the Ainu, a Vanishing
Hokkaido Educational Commission. People. University of Oklahoma Press,
American Anthropologist 72:1576.Norman.

however.
however. Erna Gunther
Erna Gunther
and Margaret Mead
and Margare
were awarded their Ph.D.s at Columbia,
Charlotte Gower became the first woman to
receive a Ph.D. in anthropology at Chicago,
and Anna Gayton was the first at Berkeley. In
the same year, Hortense Powdermaker was
awarded a Ph.D. at the London School of
Economics.

Gayton's graduate years coincided with the


period of Kroeber's most intense involvement
with Peruvian archaeology, and in 1924 she was
caught up in his program of research on the
Uhle Collections in the Museum of An-
thropology. In 1925-26, she held an a
ment as Museum Research Assistant in Peru-
vian archaeology. She and Kroeber worked
together on the Uhle pottery collections from
Nasca, doing a seriation based on the correla-
tion of design features and shapes. Kroeber
claimed that the idea was Gayton's, but he was
enthusiastic about the method and defended it
ANNA HADWICK GAYTON against critics until 1953. Also in 1925-26,
1899-1977 Gayton took sole responsibility for writing up
the collections from Nieveria. Her report on
With the death of Anna H. Gayton onNieveria
18 was not limited to pottery but covered
September 1977, anthropology lost an outstand-
all materials from the cemetery. The analysis of
ing scholar who made important contributions
the textiles was done, not by Gayton, but by
to archaeology, ethnology, and folklore. Agnes Nelson.
Anna Gayton was born in Santa Cruz, While Gayton was working on her Peruvian
California, on 20 September 1899. She archaeology reports, she was also involved in
two
graduated from the University of California at other research projects, one in rat
Berkeley in 1923 and went on to do graduate
psychology which was the basis of an article
work in anthropology there with A. L. Kroeberpublished in 1927, and the other ethnographic
and Robert H. Lowie. She had a graduate fieldwork among the Yokuts and Western Mono
minor in psychology with Edward C. Tolman.of the southern San Joaquin Valley in Califor-
She earned her M.A. in 1924 and her Ph.D. in nia. Kroeber expected all his students to con-
1928. Her dissertation, The narcotic plant tribute to his long-term salvage ethnography
Datura in aboriginal American culture, program
was a in California, but few of them fulfilled
pioneer anthropological study of a this obligation as ably as Gayton did. She made
hallucinogen. a number of field trips to the Yokuts and
Only four women had received Ph.D.s in an- Western Mono on department funds between
thropology in the United States before 1928, all 1925 and 1928 and continued her studies as a
at Columbia University. The year 1928 was a National Research Council Fellow in 1929-30.
banner year for women in anthropology, The results of this work were published in

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