PATTERNS OF CULTURE PDF
olhon.infope: application/pdf olhon.info: English olhon.info: Pattern Of Culture. olhon.info RUTH BENEDICT: CONFIGURATIONALISM AND. THE PATTERNS OF CULTURE. Sapir's idea of configurations of culture was picked up and developed by his. Patterns of Culture by RUTH BENEDICT With an Introduction by FRANZ BoAS and A New Preface by MARGARET MEAD A MENTOR BOOK Published by THE .
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But they have long since become automatic in human behaviour. They are old, and they are universal. All this, however, does not make the forms that can be observed today the original forms that arose in primordial times.
Nor is there any way of reconstructing these origins from the study of their varieties. One may isolate the universal core of the belief and differentiate from this its local forms, but it is still possible that the trait took its rise in a pronounced local form and not in some original least common denominator of all observed traits.
For this reason the use of primitive customs to establish origins is speculative. Of all the uses of anthropological material, this is the one in which speculation has followed speculation most rapidly, and where in the nature of the case no proof can be given.
Nor does the reason for using primitive societies for the discussi on of social forms have necessary connection with a romantic return to the primitive. It is put forward in no spirit of poeticizing the simpler peoples. But it is not in a return to ideals preserved for us b nm.
The careful study of primitive societies is important today rather, as we have said, because they provide case material for the study of cultural forms and processes. They help us to differentiate between those responses tllar are specific to loca:t cultura:tt es andthose that are enera t eyon ts, ey e p us to gauge and understand the immensely important role of culturally ditioned behaviOur.
He was a Christian and a leader among his people in the planting of peaches and apricots on irrigated land, but when he talked of the shamans who bad transformed themselves into bears before his eyes in the bear dance, his hands trembled and his voice broke with excitement. It was an incomparable thing, the power his people had had in the old days. He liked best to talk of the desert foods they had eaten.
He brought each uprooted plant lovingly and with an unfailing sense of its importance. It was such innovations that had degraded them in these latter days. One day, without transition, Ramon broke in upon his descriptions of grinding mesquite and preparing acorn soup.
It is hard to imagine that he had heard it from the whites he bad known at Banning; they were not given to discussing the ethos of different peoples. At any rate, in the mind of this humble Indian the figure of speech was clear and full of meaning.
Our cup is broken now. It has passed away. The old man was still vigorous and a leader in relationships with the whites. He did not mean that there was any question of the extinction of his people. But he had in mind the loss of something that had value equal to that of life itself, the whole fabric of his people's standards and beliefs.
There were other cups of living left, and they held perhaps the same water, but the loss was irreparable. It was no matter of tinkering with an addition here, lopping off something there. The modelling had been fundamental, it was somehow all of a piece. It had been their own. Ramon had had personal experience of the matter of which he spoke. He straddled two cultures whose values and ways of thought were incommensurable. It is a hard fate. In Western civilization our experiences have been different.
Aspects of life that seem to us most important have been passed over with small regard by peoples whose culture, oriented in another direction, has been far from poor. Or the same trait may be so greatly elaborated that we reckon it as fantastic. It is in cultural life as it is in speech; selection is the prime necessity. The total that are used in different languages of the world no one has ever dared to estimate. But each language must make its selection and abide by it on pain of not being intelligible at all.
Patterns of culture
We recognize only one k. H other people have five k sounds placed in different positions in the throat and mouth, distinctions of vocabulary and of syntax that depend on these differences are impossible to us until we master them. We have a d and an n. Its identity as a culture depends upon the selection of some segments of this arc. Every human society everywhere has made such selection in its cultural institutions. Each from the point of view of another ignores fundamentals and exploits irrelevancies.
One culture hardly recognizes monetary values; another has made them fundamental in every field of behaviour. One builds an enormous cultural superstructure upon adolescence, one upon death, one upon after-life. I n our own civilization a whole library of psychological studies has emphasized the inevitable unrest of the period of puberty.
They are common in America. The question is rather of their inevitability. The puberty they recognize is social, and the ceremonies are a recognition in some fashion or other of the child's new status of adulthood. II the sole honourable duty of manhood is conceived to be deeds of war, the investiture of the warrior is later and of a different sort from that in a society where adulthood gives chiefly the privilege of dancing in a representation of masked gods.
Adulthood in central North America means warfare. Honour in it is the great goal of all men. The constantly recurring theme of the youth's coming-of-age, as also of preparation for the warpath at any age, is a magic ritual for success in war.
Any woman is put to death if she so much as hears the sound of the bull-roarer at the ceremonies, and she must never know of the rites. To attain this end they use drastic sexual rites and bestow supernatural guaranties.
The clear physiological facts of adolescence, therefore, are first socially interpreted even where they are stressed. If cultural emphasis followed the physiological emphasis, girls' ceremonies would be more marked than boys'; but it is not so.
Where, as in the interior of British Columbia, adolescent rites are a magical training for all occupations, girls are included on the same terms as boys. Boys roll stones down mountains and beat them to the bottom to be swift of foot, or throw gambling-sticks to be lucky in gambling; girls carry water from distant springs, or drop stones down inside their dresses that their children may be born as easily as the pebble drops to the ground.
In such a tribe as the Nandi of the lake region of East Africa, also, girls and boys share an even-banded puberty rite, though, because of the man's dominant r6le in the culture, his boyhood training period is more stressed than the woman's. Here adolescent rites are an ordeal inflicted by those already admitted to adult status upon those they are now forced to admi t.
The rites for the two sexes are separate, but they follow the same pattern. In both the novices wear for the ceremony the clothing of their sweethearts. For both the girl and the boy the rites mark their entree into a new sex status : the boy is now a warrior and may take a sweetheart, the girl is marriageable. The adolescent tests are for both a premarital ordeal in which the palm is awarded by their lovers. Puberty rites may also be built upon the facts of girls' puberty and admit of no extension to boys.
One of the most na1ve of these is the institution of the fatting-house for girls in Central Mrica. She is taught during this time her future duties, and her seclusion ends with a parade of her corpulence that is followed by her marriage to her proud bridegroom. It is not regarded as necessary for the man to achieve pulchritude before marriage in a similar fashion. The usual ideas around which girls' puberty institutions are centred, and which are not readily extended to boys', are those concerned with menstruation.
The uncleanness of the menstruating woman is a very widespread idea, and in a few regions first menstruation has been made the focus of all the associated attitudes. Puberty rites in these cases are of a thoroughly different character from any of which we have spoken. Among the Carrier Indians of British Columbia, the fear and horror of a girl's puberty was at its height.
Her three or four years of seclusion was called 'the burying alive,' and she lived for all that time alone in the wilderness, in a hut of branches far from all beaten trails. She was a threat to any person who might so much as catch a glimpse of her, and her mere footstep defiled a path or a river. She was covered with a great headdress of tanned skin that shrouded her face and breasts and fell to the ground behind.
She was herself in danger and she was a source of danger to everybody else. There are always two possible aspects to the sacred: it may be a source of peril or it may be a source of blessing. In some tribes the first menses of girls are a potent supernatural blessing. All the babies and the old people come also of necessity to have illness removed from them. The adolescent girls are not segregated as sources of danger, but court is paid to them as to direct sources of supernatural blessing.
The adolescent behaviour, therefore, even of girls was not dictated by some physiological characteristic of the period itself, but rather by marital or magic requirements socially connected with it.
The adolescence of girls may equally, as we have seen, be a theme which a culture does not institutionalize. Do not all cultures have to cope with the natural turbulence of this period, even though it may not be given institutional expression?
Mead bas studied this question in Samoa. There the girl's life passes through well-marked periods. The comer of the village to which she belongs is all-important, and the little boys are traditional enemies. She has one duty, that of baby-tending, but she takes the baby with her rather than stays home to mind it, and her play is not seriously hampered.
Puberty brings no change at all. A few years after she has come of age, she will begin the pleasant years of casual and irresponsible love affairs that she will prolong as far as possible into the period when marriage is already considered fitting. Puberty itself is marked by no social recognition, no change of attitude or of expectancy. In case he is a per son to whom social recognition is necessary, it is ordina rily his onJy possible course.
One of the most stri king indi vidu als in Zuni had accepted this necessity. In a society that thoroughly distrusts authority of any sort , he had a native personal magnetism that singled him out in any group. In a society that exa lts moderati on and the easiest way. In a society that pr aises a pliant person- ality that 'talks lot s'- that is, th at chatters in a friendly fashion-h e was scornful and aloof. Zuni' s only reaction to such personalities is to br and them as witches.
He was said to have been seen peering thr ough a window from out side, and this is a sure mark of a witch. He was taken before the war priests who bung him by his thumb s from the rafter s till be should confess to his witchcraft. This is the usual procedur e in a charge of witchcraft. However , he dispatched a messenger to the government troop s. When they ca me, his shoulders were already crippled for life, and the officer of the law was left with no recourse but to imprison the war priests who had heen responsible for the enormity.
One of these war priests was probably the most respected and important person in recent Zufii history, and when he returned after imprison- ment in the state penitenti ary he never resumed his priestly offices. He regard ed his power as broken. It was a revenge that is prob ably uniqu e in Zufu history. It in- volved, of course, a challenge to the pr iesthoods, against whom the witch by his act openly aligned himself. The course of his life in the fort y years that followed this defiance was not.
A witch is not barr ed from his membership in cult groups because he has been condemned, and the way to recognition lay thr ough such activity. He possessed a re- markable verbal memory and a sweet singing voice.
He learned unbelievabl e stores of mythology, of esoteric ritual, of cult songs. Many hundr eds of pages of stories and ritual poetry were taken down from his dictation before he died, and he regarded his songs as much marc exten- sive.
He became indispensable in ce remonial life and be- fore he died was the governor of Zuiii. The congenial bent of his personality threw him into irreconcilable con- flict with his society, and he solved his dilemma by turn- ing an incidental talent to account.
As we might well ex- pect, he was not a happy man. As governor of Zuni, and high in his cult groups. He was a cheated man in the midst of a mildly happy populace. It is easy to imagine the life he might have lived among the Plains Indi ans, where every institution favoured the traits that were native to him. The personal authority, the turbulence, the scorn, would al l have been honoured in the career he could have made his own.
The indi vidual s we have so far di scussed are not in any sense psychopathic. Th ey illustrate the dilemma of the individu al whose congeni al driv es are not provid ed for in the instituti ons of his culture. This dil emma becomes of psychiatric import ance when the behaviour in question is regarded as ca tego rically abnorma l in a society.
Western civilizati on tends to regard even a mild homosexual as an abnorm al. Th e clinical pict ure of homosexualit y stresses the neuro ses and psyc hose s to which it gives rise, and emph asizes almost equally the inadequ ate functi onin g of the invert and his behaviour. We have only to turn to oth er cultur es, however , to realize that homosexuals hav e by no means been unif orml y inadequ at e to the social situati on.
Th ey have not always failed to functi on. In some societ ies they have even been espec ially accla imed. Plat o' s Republic is. It is pre sent ed as a major mean s to the good life, and Plat o's high ethical eva luation of thi s response was upheld in tbe cust omary behaviour of Gr eece at that period.
Th e Ameri can Indi ans do not mak e Plato' s high moral claims for homosex ua lity, but homosexuals are often re- garded as excep t ional ly able. In most of Nort h Ameri ca there exists the institution of the berdache, as the French called them. Th ese men-women were men who at pub erty or thereaft er took the dress and the occupa tions of women.
Sometimes they marri ed other men and lived with them. Sometimes they wer e men with no inver sion , persons of weak sexual endow ment who chose this rol e to avoid the jeer s of the women.
Th e ber daches were never regarded as of first- rate supernatural powe r. Th ey were usually, in spite of the mann er in which they were accept ed, regarded with a ce rtain emba rra ssment. But they were socially placed. Th e emphas is in most tr ibes was upon the fact that men who took over women's occupa- tions exce lled by reason of their strength and initiative and we re therefore leaders in women's tech niques and in the accumulation of those forms of property made by women.
One of the best known of all the Zunis of a generation ago was the man- woman We- wha, who was, in the words of his friend. Stevenson, 'ce rtainly the strongest person in Zuni, bot h ment all y and physically. The men- women of Zu fii are not all strong, self- reliant personages. Some of t hem take this refuge to protect themselves against thei r inability to take part in men's activities. One is almost a simpleton, and one. There are obviously several reasons why a person becomes a berdache in Zuiii , but whateve r the reason.
Their response is socially recognized. If they have nati ve ability. The Indian inst itution of the berd ache was most strongly developed on the pl ains. Th e Dakot a had a sayi ng ' fine possessions like a berdache's,' and it was the epitome of praise for any woman's household possessions. A ber- dache had two strings to his bow, he was supreme in women's techniques, and he could also support his me- nage by the man's activity of hunt ing.
Therefo re no one was richer. When espe cially fine beadwork or dr essed skins we re desired for ce remonial occ asions. It was his soc ial adequacy that was stressed above all else. As in Zuni. Soci al sco rn, however, was visited not upon the berdache but upon the man who lived with him. Hi s sexual adjustme nt was not singled out in the judg- ment that was passed upon him. I When the homo sexu al response is regard ed as a per- version , however , the invert is immedi at ely exposed to all the conflicts to which aberra nts are always exposed.
Hi s guilt , his sense of inadequ acy, his failur es, are conse- quences of the disr eput e which social tr aditi on visits upon him; and few people can achieve a sat isfactory life un- supp ort ed by the standards of the society. Th e adjustments that society demand s of them would strain any man' s vitalit y, and the consequences of this conflict we identify with thei r homosexuality. Tr ance is a similar abnorma lity in our society. Even a very mild mystic is aberra nt in Western civilizati on.
In ord er to study tr ance or catalep sy within our own soc ial group s, we have to go to the case hi stori es of the abnormal.
Th er efor e the corre lation bet ween tr ance expe rience and the neur oti c and psychoti c seems perfect. As in the case of the homosexual , however , it is a local corre lation char- acteri stic of our centu ry. Even in our own cultural back- ground othe r eras give dilTerent result s. In the Middle Ages when Ca tholicism made the ecstatic expe rience the mark of sainthood , the trance expe rience was greatly valu ed, and those to whom the respon se was congenial, instead of bein g overwhelmed by a cat astroph e as in our centu ry, were given confide nce in the pursuit of their car eer s.
It was a valid ati on of ambiti ons. Indi viduals who were suscept ible to tr ance, ther e- fore , succeeded or failed in term s of their nati ve capa c- ities, but since tr ance expe rience was highly valued, a great leader was very likely to be capable of it. Among primitiv e peo ples, tr ance and cata lepsy have been honour ed in the extr eme.
Some of the Indi an tribes of Ca lifornia accorded pr estige principally to those who passed throu gh certa in tr ance experiences. Not all of these tribe s beli eved that it was excl usively women who were so blessed, but among the Shasta this was the convent ion. They were chosen be- cause of their co nstitutional liabiJity to trance and allied manifestations. One day the woman who was so destined, while she was about her usual work. She had hear d a voice spea king to her in tones of the greatest intensity.
Turning, she had seen a man with drawn bow and arrow. He co mmanded her to sing on pain of being shot throu gh the heart by his arrow. Her family gather ed. She was lying rigidly, hardl y br eathing.
They knew that for some time she had had dreams of a special charact er which indi cated a shamanistic calling, dreams of escaping grizzly bears. The com- munit y knew therefore what to expec t. Aft er a few hours the woman began to moan gently and to roll about upon the ground. She was supposed to be repeatin g the song which she had bee n told to sing and which durin g the tr ance had been taught her by the spirit.
As she revived, her moaning became more and more clearly the spirit's song until at last she called out the name of the spirit itself , and immediat ely blood oozed from her mouth. When the woman had come to her self after the first encounter with her spirit. For three nights she danced, holdin g her self by a rope that was swung from the ceiling. On the thi rd ni ght she had to receive in her body her power from the spirit.
She was dancing, and as she felt the approach of the moment she called out, 'He will shoot me, he will shoot me. Fro m thi s time on she had in her body a visible materialization of her spirit's power. From this time on she continued demonstrations. She became, in other words.
For some tr ad it ional arra ngements it is obvio us that very high p rices are paid. If these arr angement s presented themselves [Q us merely as arra nge me nts and not as cate- gorical imperatives. What we do instead is to rid icu le our Don Qui xotes. In the meant ime the ther apeut ic prob lem of dealing with our psychopat hs of [his type is often misunderstood.
Two ot her courses are alway s po ssible. In the first place, the misfit individu al may cultivate a gre ater objective inter est in his own pref- erences and learn how to manage wit h greater equa- nimi ty his de viat ion from the type. If he learn s to recog- nize the extent to which his suffering has been due to his lack of suppo rt in a tr aditi on al ethos , he may gradually edu cat e himsel f to accept his degree of difference with less suffering. Bot h the exaggerated emotiona l distu rbances of the mani c-depr essive and the secl usion of the schizo- phr en ic add certa in va lues to existence which arc not open to those di ffer entl y co nstituted.
The unsup port ed indi- vidu al who vali antly acce pts his favourit e and nat ive virt ues may atta in a feasible course of be hav iour that makes it un necessary for him to take refuge in a pri vate worl d he ha s fashi on ed for himself. He may gradua lly achieve a mor e indepe nd ent and less to rt ured attitude towar d his deviations and upon this att itude he may be able to buil d an adequately func tioning existence.
In the second place. Th e po ssibilit ies in this di rec- tion are endless. Tradi tion is as neur ot ic as any pati ent ; its overgrown fear of deviation from its fort uitou s stand- ard s conforms to all the usual definitions of the psycho- path ic. This fear does not depend upon observation of the limit s within whic h conformity is necessary to the soc ial good. Much mor e deviat ion is allowe d to the individual in some cult ures than in othe rs.
It is prob able th at soc ial orde rs of the futur e will carry this tol erance and encourageme nt of ind ividua l diffe rence much fur ther than any cult ures of which we have exper- ience.
Th e Am eric an tend ency at the present time lean s so far to the op pos ite extreme that it is not easy for us to pic- tur e the changes that suc h an att itud e wo uld br ing abo ut. Mid dtetown is a typic al example of our usual urban fear of seeming in however slight an act different from our neighbours.
Ecce nt rici ty is mor e fear ed than pa rasitism. Children in school make their great tragedies out of not wearing a ce rtain kind of stock- ings, not joining a ce rtain dancing-class, not driving a certain car.
The fear of being different is the dominating motivation recorded in Middletown. The psychopa thic toll that such a motivation exacts is evident in every institution for mental diseases in our country. In a soc iety in which it existed only as a minor motive among many others, the psychi atric picture would be a very different one.
At all events, there can be no reasonable doubt that onc of the most effective ways in which to deal with the stagg. Not all psychopath s, of course, are indi viduals whose native responses are at variance with those of their civi- lization. Another large group are those who are merely in- adequate and who are strongly enough motivated so that their failure is more than they can bear.
In a society in which the will-to-power is most highly rewar ded, those who fail may not be tho se who are differentl y const ituted, but simply those who are insufficientl y endowed. The in- feriority complex takes a great toll of suffering in our society.
It is not necessary that sufferers of this type have a history of frustration in the sense that strong native bent s have been inhibi ted ; their frustr ation is often enough only the reflection of their inability to reach a certain goal. There is a cultural implication here, too, in that the traditional goal may be access ible to large numbers or to very few, and in proportion as success is obse ssive and is limited to the few, a greater and greater number will be liable to the extreme penal ties of maladju stment.
To a certain extent, therefore, civilization in setting higher and possibly more wort h-while goals may increase the number of its abnormals.
But the point may very easily be ove remphasized. On the whole, since the socia l possibilities of tolerance and recognition of individual difference are so little explored in practice, pessimism seems premature. We have been conside ring indivi du als from the point of view of their ability to funct ion ad equately in their society. Thi s adequate functioning is one of the ways in whi ch norm alit y is clini call y defined.
It is also defined in term s of fixed symptoms, and the tend ency is to identify normality with the statistically average. In practice this average is one arrived at in the laboratory, and devaitions from it are defined as abnormal. From the point of view of a single culture thi s pro- cedure is very useful. It shows the clinical pictur e of the civilization and gives considerable information about its soci ally approved behaviour.
To generalize this as an absolute normal, however, is a different matter. As we have seen, the range of normality in different cultures does not coincide. Some, like Zufii and the Kwakiutl, are so far removed from each other that they overlap only slightly.
The statistically determined normal on the Northwest Coast would be far outside the extreme boundaries of abnormal ity in the Pueblos. The norm al Kwakiutl rivalry co ntest would only be under stood as madness in Zufii, and the traditional Zuni indifference to dominance and the humili ati on of others would be the fatu ousness of a simplet on in a man of nobl e famil y on the Northwest Coas t. Aberrant behaviour in either culture could never be determined in relation to any least common denorni- nator of behaviour.
Any soc iety. Thi s fact is important in psychiatry because it makes clear anothe r gro up of abnorma ls which pro bably exists in every culture: This group is soc ially in the opposite situation from the group we have discussed. They have a licence which they may almost end- lessly exploit. For this reason these persons almost never fall within the scope of any contempo rary psychiat ry. They are unl ikely to be described even in the most careful manuals of the generat ion that foster s them.
Vet from the point of view of another generation or culture they are ordinarily the most bizarr e of the psychopathic types of the period. The Purit an divines of New England in the eighteenth century were the last persons whom contemporary opinion A. They were the voice of God. Yet to a modem obse rver it is they, not the confu sed and torment ed women they put to death as witches, who were the psychoneurotics of Puritan New England.
A sense of guilt as ext reme as they por- trayed and demanded both in their own conversion experi- ences and in those of their converts is found in a slightly saner civilization only in institutions for mental diseases. They admitted no salvation without a conviction of sin that prostrated the victim.
It was the duty of the minister to put the fear of hell into the heart of even the youngest child, and to exact of every convert emotional acceptance -' of his damnation if God saw fit to damn him. From the point of view of a com- V par ative psychiatry they fall in the category of the ab- normal. Like me- behaviour of Puritan divines , tneir cour ses of action ar e often mor e asocial than those of the inmat es of penit entiaries.
In terms of the suffering and frustr ation that they spread about them tbere is probably no comp ari son. Th ere is very possibly at least as great a degre e of mental warping. Yet they are entrusted with positions of great influence and importan ce and arc as a rule father s of families.
Their impre ss both upon their own childr en and upon the structur e of our society is indelible. They are not described in our manuals of psy- chiatry because they are supported by every tenet of our civilization. The y ar e sure of themselves in real life in a way that is possible only to those who are oriented to the point s of the compass laid down in their own culture.
Neverth eless a future psychiatry may well ransack our novels and lett ers and public records for illumination upon a type of abnormality to which it would not other- wise give credence.
In every society it is: In the fields of bot h. The sophisticated modern temper has made of social relativit y. It has argued that if human expe rience must give up these, the nut sheU of existence is empty. It is only the inevitabl e cultur al lag that makes us insist that the old must be discover ed again in the new, that there is no solution but to find the old cer tainty and stabil- ity in the new plasticit y. Th e recognition of cultural rel- ativit y ca rr ies with it its own v alues, WhLCh need not be.
It rouses pessimism heca us e jt throws old formul ae into co nfusion Lbecause, it- cont ains any- thing intrinsically difficult. As soo n as the new opinion is embraced as customary belief. We shall arr ive then at a more realistic soc ial faith, accep ting as grounds of hope and as new bases for tolerance the coex isting and equally valid patterns of life which mankind bas created for itself from the raw materials of ex istence. New Yo rk, It is probable that some of these children wer e subnor mal an d abandone d beca use of that fact.
But it is hard ly possible th at all of th em were, ye t they all impressed obse rvers as half -witt ed. Fra nz. A nthropolog y and M od ern L if e, New York, Arn old. Lex Rit es de Passage. Pari s, New York. Memoi rs of the Am erican A nt hr opological Asso- ciati on, no. Stem, Wil he1m. Die differ entie lle Psychologie in thren Gr und- lagen. Leipzig, Form in Gothi c. London , Koffka, Ku rt. The Gr owth of the Mind. New Yor k, Kdhl er, Wilhelm. Gesta lt Psychology.
New York , Fo r a summary of the wor k of the Ges ta lt school see Mu rph y, Ga rdner. Approaches to Personality, S7 Dilth ey, Wilbelm.
Gesam me lte Schr ii ten, Band 2; 8. The Decl ine of the West , New York, The " is pro- nounced as in any English wo rd. The foll owing is a selected bibliogra phy on Zuiii. The refer- ences in this chapter are numbered as in this list.
Zutii Mythol ogy. Colum bia University Cont ribu tions to Anthro pol ogy , 2 vol. Psychological T ypes in the Cult ures of the Sou thwest.
Ruth L. Introd ucti on to Zufii Ce remon ialism. Was hingto n, Zuiii Rilual Poetry. I bid. Zuiii Katchin as. Zufu Texts. Cushing, Frank Hamilt on. Outlin es of Zuni Creation Myths. Washing- ton, Zuni Fo lk Tales.
My Experi ences in Zuiii. Th e Century Magazin e, n. Zuiii Bread st uffs. Zuni Fetishes. Washin gton.
Kro cber , A. Zuii i Kin and Cla n. XV III, part 2. New York, 7. Parson s. EIsie Clews. Notes O D Zufii, I and n. Stcvenson, Matilda Cox. Th e Zuff Indian s. The Religiou s Lif e of the l uni Child. Wash- ington, So ut h wes t A rctur oi ogy , Yale Univers ity Pr ess. New Haven, In the simpler homogeneous cultures coUective habit or custom may quite supersede the necessity for any development of formal legal authority. Even in our civilization the law is never more than a crude implement of society, and one it is often enough necessary to check in its arr0gant career.
It is largely because of the traditional acceptance of a con1lict between society and the individual , that emphasis upon cultural behaviour is so often interpreted as a denial. Th e reading of Sumner's Folk ways usually rouses a protest at the limitations such an interpr etati on places upon th e sco pe and initi ative of the individu al.
But these opp osite expre ssions are the congenial responses. Thi s rapport is so close th at it is not possible 10 discu ss patt ern s of cultur e without co nsidering specifica lly their rel ation to individual psychology. It is always a giveand-take. We ca nnot. But no an thropo logis t with a backgr ound of experience of o ther culture s has ever believed that individuals were automatons. No culture yet ob served has be en able to eradica te the differ ences in the temper aments of the persons who co mpose it.
The vast proportion of a ll individuals who are born into any soci ety always and whatever the idiosy ncrasies of its institutions. We have alrea dy discu ssed the reasons for believing that this selection is primarily cultural and not biological. It is nece ssary also to rel at e his con geni al respon ses to the beh aviour that is singled out in the institutions of his culture. To under stand the beh aviour of the individu al. The pr obl em o f the ind ivid ua l is not clarified hy stressing the -antago nism between culture and the individual.
Th is fact is always int erpr et ed by the carri ers of tha t cultur e as being due to the fact that their particul ar institutions reflect an ultimate and universal sanity.
A nthro po logy is ofte n b elieved to be a counsel of d espair which make s unten able a ben eficent human illusion. We hav e seen th at any soc iety selects some segment of the arc of possible human behaviour.
Southwest institutions. They do not all. Among the Eskimo. They may extend their native reaction to situations in which their paddle breaks or their can oe overturns or to the loss of relatives by death. Some of the forms the restitution take s are repugn ant to us. It does not matter whether. Those who can assuage despair by the act of bringing shame to others can register freely and without conflict in this society.
On the oth er hand. In any case the great mass of individuals take quite readily the form that is pre sented to them. Those who. They rise from their first reaction of sulking to thrust back in return. Persons who primarily mourn the situation rather than the lost individual are provided for in these cultures to a degree which is unim aginable under our institutions.
In such cases the family from which the child was chosen was supposed to be pleased. From the point of view of the bereaved parent s. Among certain of th e Ce ntral A1gonkian Indians south of the Great Lakes the usu al procedure was adoption. Restitution may be carried out in mourning situations in ways th at are less uncongenial to the standa rds of Western civilization.
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Or quite as often it was the child's closest playmat e. Instead of trying to get past the experience with the least possible discomfitur e. We do not use it as a mourning technique.
It is the precise oppo site of the Puebl o attitude. This is an emphasis upon restitution th at ignores all other aspects of the situationthose which seem to us the only important ones. We recognize the po ssibility of such solace. The child had alway s recognized many 'mothers' and many homes where he was on familiar footing. Th e Indians of the plain s capitalized the utm ost indulg ences and exacted violent dem on strati on s of emotion as a matt er of course.
Just as those are favoured whose con genial respon ses are closest to th at behaviour which cha racterizes their society. But it is ju st those ind ividuals amo ng the Kwakiuti who find it co ngenial to give the freest expression to these att itudes who neverthel ess arc the leaders of Kwakiutl society and find grea test perso nal fulfilment in its cultur e. T he co rrelation is in a ditferent direction. In any group of individu als we can recognize those to whom th ese differ ent rea ction s 1.
In the psychia tric record s of our own society. Th e bad ones are said to lead to maladjustment s and insaniti es. Th e de sire to run away from grief. For a valid co mpara tive psychiatry. The se abnor mals arc those who are not suppo rted by the institu tion s of their civilization. Their culture gives th e impre ssion of fosterin g mental health.
Th e Pueblos are not a neurot ic people. Th ey are the exception s who have not easily ta ken the traditi onal forms of their culture. It is clea r. The behaviour congenial to the Dobuan simpleton has been made the ideal in certain periods of our own civilization. Lowie found among the Crow Indians of the plains a man of exceptional knowledge of his cultural forms. The village treated him in a kindly enough fashion.
Especially if a woman is in question. In any other Dobuan this was scandalous behaviour. He was not filled by a terror of the dark like his fellows. The tribes we bave described have all of them their nonparticipating 'abnormal' individuals. He often patted them playfully in public. The fact tbat the Dobuan could not function in his culture was not a consequence of the particular responses that were congenial to him.
He worked for anyone who asked him. He was interested in considering these objectively and in correlating different facets. Altogether he was an ideal interpreter. In case he is a per son to whom soc ial recognition is necessary.
T hese traits. At any rat e. In ca se.
In a soc iety that exa lts mod eration and the ea siest way. T o lay false clai m to wa r hon ou rs was a pa ramount sin amo ng the Cro w. T o ma ke matters worse he had at tem pted to gain reco gnition by claiming a wa r honour which was frau dul ent.
He was proved not to have bro ught in. Our hobo po pulation is co nsta ntly fed by those to whom the accumulat ion of propert y is not a suffic ient moti vation. He was sa id to have been seen peering thr o ugh a window from out side. Such situations ca n be paralleled with the atti tude in our civilization towar d a man who does not succeed in regardin g personal possessions as supremely importa nt.
T he dilem ma of such an ind ividual is often suc0st cessfully solved by doin g vio lence to his stro ngest natural impul ses and accepting th e role the culture honour s.
O ne of the most stri king individu als in Z un i had acce pted this necessity. He had a definite shrinking from physical danger. In ca se these individuals ally them selves with the hoboes. In any case they are unsu ppo rted by the fo rms of th eir soc iety.
In a socie ty tha t pr aises a pliant personality that 'talks lots'. Zu ni' s only reaction to such pe rsona lities is to br and them as witc hes. In a society th at tho roughly distrusts authority of any sort. He possessed a remarkable ve rbal memory and a sweet singing voice. Th e congenial bent of his personality threw him into irreconcilable co n- flict with his society.
Th e course of his life in th e fort y yea rs that followed this defiance was not. Many hundr eds of pages of stories and ritual poetry were taken down from his dictation before he died. T he unh appiness that was inseparable from his tem perament as a suc- cessful priest and govern or of Zu fu would have had DO.
He regard ed his po wer as broken. When they ca me. As we might we ll expect. It in- volved. He was a cheated man in the midst of a mildly ha ppy populace. The person al autho rity.
As go ve rnor of Zuni. A witch is not barr ed from his memb ership in cult groups because he has been condemned. It is easy to imagine the life he might have lived among the Plains Indians.
Pattern Of Culture
This is the usu al procedur e in a charge of witchcraft. He learn ed unbelievable sto res of mythology. On e of these war priests was prob ably the most respected and important person in recent Zufii history. He was taken before the war priests who bung him by his thumb s from the rafter s till be sho uld confe ss to his witchcraft. It is pre sent ed as a major mean s to the good life. Th ey were usually. Th ese men -wo men were men who at pub erty or thereaft er took the d ress and the occ upa tions of wo me n.
Pattern Of Culture
We have only to turn to oth er cultur es. It was thou ght slightly ridiculous to add ress as 'she' a person who was know n to be a man and who. Th e Am eri can Indi an s do not mak e Plato's high moral claim s for ho mosex ua lity. Th ey have not always failed to fun ction. In most of No rt h Am eri ca there exists the institution of the berdache. Som etim es they marri ed other me n and lived with th em.
Th ey illustrate th e dilemm a of the individu al whose con geni al driv es a re not provid ed for in the instituti on s of his cultu re. Som etim es they wer e men with no inver sion.
Plat o's R epublic is. Western civilizati on tend s to regard eve n a mild hom osexual as an abnorm al. The indi vidual s we have so far discu ssed are not in any sen se psych op athic.
T h is dil emm a becom es of psychiatric import an ce when the beh aviour in qu estion is regarded as ca tego rica lly abno rma l in a soc iety. In some soc iet ies the y have even been espec ially accla imed.
Th e clinical p ict ure of hom osexu ality stresses the neuro ses and psyc hose s to which it gives rise. Th e ber daches were never regarded as of first. But they were soc ially placed. If th ey have nati ve ability. Th e men. Th e ir response is socially recognized. Stevenso n. O ne is almo st a simpleto n. It was his soc ial adequacy that was stressed abo ve all else.
So me of them take th is refu ge to pro tec t themselves against thei r inability to take part in men 's activities. A berdache had two strings to his bow. O ne of the best known of all the Zun is of a generation ago was the man.
T he latter was re-. Th e emp has is in most tr ibes was upon the fact that men w ho took over women's occupa- tion s exce lled by reason of their strength and initiative and we re therefore leaders in wo men's tech niques and in the accumulation of those form s of pro perty mad e by women. Soci al sco rn.Conflict is the essence of existence.
It is the only laboratory of social forms that we have or shall have. This is the usual procedur e in a charge of witchcraft. This dogma was modified in practice, for man perpetuates tradition even in those institutions that attempt to flaunt it. The relation of motivations and purposes to the separate items of cultural behaviour at birth, at death, at puberty, and at marriage can never be made clear by a comprehensive survey of the world.
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