Kwakiutl Ethnography. FRANZ BOAS. Helen. Codere, ed. Chicago & London: Univer- sity of Chicago Press, (publication date ). xxxvii + pp. Presents an unfinished Boas manuscript and selected publications in which the renowned anthropologist records his observations of such aspects of Kwakiutl. Get this from a library! Kwakiutl ethnography.. [Franz Boas; Helen F Codere].

Author: Mazur Fauzragore
Country: Central African Republic
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Finance
Published (Last): 21 October 2008
Pages: 336
PDF File Size: 6.34 Mb
ePub File Size: 2.47 Mb
ISBN: 408-2-56602-933-8
Downloads: 97334
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Fehn

Kwakiutl Ethnography | Milwaukee Public Museum

This formulation echoes Ratzel’s focus on historical processes of human migration and culture contact and Bastian’s rejection of environmental determinism. Boas concluded his lecture by acknowledging the importance of Darwin’s work:. InBoas defended with Helmholtz’s support his habilitation thesis, Baffin Landand was named privatdozent in geography. Although his grandparents were observant Jewshis parents embraced Enlightenment values, including their assimilation into modern German society.

Boas was one of the most prominent opponents of the then-popular ideologies of scientific racismthe idea that race is a biological concept and that human behavior is best understood through the typology of biological characteristics.

Wilhelm Dilthey emphasized the centrality of “understanding” to human knowledge, and that the lived experience of a historian could provide a basis for an empathic understanding of the situation of a historical actor. Boas argued that attention to individual agency reveals that “the activities of the individual are determined to a great extent by his social environment, but in turn, his own activities influence the society in which he lives and may bring about modifications in a form”.

Although Boas felt that scientists have a responsibility to speak out on social and political problems, he was appalled that they might involve themselves in disingenuous and deceitful ways. One of Boas’s most important books, The Mind of Primitive Manintegrated his theories concerning the history and development of cultures and established a program that would dominate American anthropology for the next fifteen years.

Boas lived and worked closely with the Inuit peoples on Baffin Island, and he developed an abiding interest in the way people lived. Peary bring one Inuk from Greenland to New York. In this study, he established that in any given population, biology, language, material, and symbolic culture, are autonomous; that each is an equally important dimension of human nature, but that no one of these dimensions is reducible to another.


It is a quite different question, however, in how far the particular machinery of democratic government is identical with democratic institutions Inthe great linguist and philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt called for an anthropology that would synthesize Kant’s and Herder’s interests.

Kwakiutl Ethnography by Boas, Franz

At both Columbia and the AAA, Boas encouraged the “four-field” concept of anthropology; he personally contributed to physical anthropologylinguisticsarchaeologyas well as cultural anthropology. Moreover, he ethnograpy that average measures of the cranial size of children born within ten years of their mothers’ arrival were significantly different from kwakijtl of children born more than ten years after their mothers’ arrival.

Franz Boas and the Continuing Centrality of Texts”.

Boas’s program at Columbia became the first Ph. It ethnogrpahy in this context that anthropologists began turning to genetics as a basis for any understanding of biological variation. Several of Boas’s students went on to serve as editors of the American Anthropological Association’s flagship journal, American Anthropologist: When he started his university studies, Boas first attended Heidelberg University for a semester followed by four terms at Bonn Universitystudying physics, geography, and mathematics at these schools.

John Benjamins Publishing Company. Foster Charles Wagley Anthony F.

Ethnology of the Kwakiutl, based on data collected by George Hunt

Boas was especially concerned with racial inequalitywhich his research had indicated is not biological in origin, but rather social. Boas also fought to prove that not all cultures progressed along the same path, and that non-European cultures, in particular, were not primitive, but different. Putnam intended the World’s Columbian Exposition to be a celebration of Columbus’ voyage. Meier Boas —Sophie Meyer Boas — Before his death inhe appointed Helen Codere to edit and publish his manuscripts about the culture of the Kwakiutl people.

This insight led Boas to reject the “stage”-based organization of ethnological museums, instead preferring to order items on display based on the affinity and proximity of the cultural groups in question. Boas has been widely critiqued for his role in bringing Minik and the five other Inuit to New York, and his disinterest in them once they had served their purpose at the museum. He published many descriptive studies of Native American languages, ethnigraphy wrote on theoretical difficulties in classifying languages, and laid out a research ethongraphy for studying the relations between language and culture which his students such as Edward SapirPaul Rivetand Alfred Kroeber followed.


Men secured claims to these privileges through their parents or wives, and there were a variety of ways these privileges could be acquired, used, and transmitted from one generation to the next. But Boas worked more closely with Bastian, who was noted for his antipathy to environmental determinism.

Morgan and Edward Burnett Tylor. Inhe organized the Jesup North Pacific Expeditiona five-year-long field-study of the natives of the Pacific Northwest, whose ancestors had migrated across the Bering Strait from Siberia. InBoas’s student, Alfred Kroeber summed up the three principles of empiricism that define Boasian anthropology as a science:. Many social scientists in other disciplines often agonize over the legitimacy of their work as “science” and consequently eghnography the importance of detachment, objectivity, abstraction, and quantifiability in their work.

The American who is cognizant only of his own standpoint sets himself up as arbiter ethnoography the world.

The Kwakiutl seemed to have a mix of features. Curators assumed that changes in the forms of artifacts reflect some natural process of progressive evolution. Boas took up geography as a way to explore his growing interest in the relationship between subjective experience and the objective world.

It also emphasizes culture as a context “surroundings”and the importance of history. Boas was also critical of one nation imposing its power over others.

His work in these fields was pioneering: Prior to that time biologists relied on the measurement of physical ethnograhy as empirical data for any theory of evolution. Boas’s primary interest—in symbolic and material culture and in language—was the study of processes of change; he, therefore, set out to determine whether bodily forms are also subject to processes of change. Stanley Hall ‘s interference in his research, yet in he was appointed as the head of a newly created department of anthropology at Clark University.