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

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Moreover, he argued that each approach has its origin in one of the two “interests” of reason Kant had identified in the Critique of Judgement —one “generalizing”, the other “specifying”. Arguing that “[t]hough like causes have like effects like effects have not like causes”, Boas realized that even artifacts that were similar in form might have developed in very different contexts, for different reasons.

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

Perhaps because Boas, like other early anthropologists, was originally trained in the natural sciences, he and his students never expressed such anxiety. As in his work on Alaskan needlecases, he now saw variation among Kwakiutl practices as the result of the play between social norms and individual creativity.

Presidents of the American Anthropological Association. The Early Years, — p. While on Baffin Island he began to develop his interest in studying non-Western cultures resulting in his book, The Central Eskimopublished in In a programmatic essay in”The Methods of Ethnology”, Boas argued that instead of “the systematic enumeration of standardized beliefs and customs of a tribe”, anthropology needs to document “the way in which the individual reacts to his whole social environment, and to the difference of opinion and of mode of action that occur in primitive society and which are the causes of far-reaching changes”.

Alienated by growing antisemitism and nationalism as well as the very limited academic opportunities for a geographer in Germany, Boas decided to stay in the United States. First Nations on the southern coast, like the Nootka and the Salishhowever, were organized into patrilineal groups.


Furthermore, Darwin built up his theory through a careful examination of considerable empirical data. Journal of the Folklore Institute. The primary goal of these expeditions was to illuminate Asiatic-American relations. Goodman —07 Setha Low —09 Virginia R.

Boas, however, felt that the form an artifact took reflected the circumstances under which it was produced and used.

For Boas, the object of anthropology was to understand the way in which culture conditioned people to understand and interact with the world in different ways and to do this it was necessary to gain an understanding of the language and cultural practices of the people studied. Several of his students soon attempted to develop theories of the grand sort that Boas typically rejected. For example, whereas he had earlier translated the Kwakiutl word numaym as “clan”, kwaoiutl now argued that the word is best understood as referring to a bundle of privileges, for which there ethnograpy no English word.

Kwakiutl Ethnography | Milwaukee Public Museum

The numaym constitute the most basic social group in Kwakiutl society. Boas believed that a true theory could only be formed from thorough research and that even once you had a theory it should be treated as a “work ethnograpgy progress” unless it could be proved beyond doubt.

But there are some languages that have no word for ” green “.

I see no reason why we should not allow the Germans, Austrians, and Russians, or whoever else it may be, to solve their problems in their own ways, instead of demanding that they bestow upon themselves the benefactions of our regime. Minik eventually was able to return to Greenland, but Boas did not help him or pay any attention to the plight of the Inuit whom he had brought to New York. These widening contexts of interpretation were abstracted into one context, the context in which the specimens, or assemblages of specimens, would be displayed: Curators assumed that changes in the forms of artifacts reflect some natural process of progressive evolution.

Kwakiutl Ethnography – Franz Boas – Google Books

This focus did not lead Boas to seek to reduce all forms of humanity and human activity to some lowest common denominator; rather, he understood the essence of the human species to be the tremendous variation in human form and activity an approach that parallels Charles Darwin’s approach to species in general.


A soldier whose business is murder as a fine art, a diplomat owakiutl calling is based on deception and secretiveness, a politician whose very life consists in compromises with his conscience, a businessman whose aim is personal profit within the limits allowed by a lenient law—such may be excused if they set patriotic deception above common everyday decency and perform services as spies.

ByBoas had come to recognize with a certain resignation that “the number of people in our country who are willing and able to enter into the modes of thought of other nations is altogether too small During Boas’s lifetime, as today, ethmography Westerners saw a fundamental difference between modern societies, which are characterized by dynamism and individualism, and traditional societies which are stable and homogeneous.

But the best kwxkiutl, for Boas, of this phenomenon is that of the Jews in Europe:. This approach defines as its object the human species as a totality.

McGee’s position prevailed and he was elected the organization’s first president in ; Boas was elected a vice-president, along with Putnam, Powell, and Holmes. Franz Boas on Jewish Identity and Assimilation”. A comparable visual example would involve words for colors. In History of Anthropologyvol. Thus, although the Inuit with whom Boas worked at Baffin Islandand the Germans with whom he studied as a graduate student, ethnogaphy contemporaries of one another, evolutionists argued that the Inuit were at an earlier stage in their evolution, and Germans at a later stage.