The American Indian

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Ruin known as the "House of the Magician." Uxmal, Yucalan
Spinden, 1913. I




The American Indian


An Introduction to the Anthropology

of the New World


CLARK WISSLER

Curator of Anthropology in the American Museum

of Natural HistoryNew York City


Globe (American Indian).jpg


New York

Douglas C. McMurtrie

1917



Copyright, 1917, by Douglas C. McMurtrie



The American Indian Douglas C McMurtrie Logo.jpg



PREFACE

This book is offered as a general summary of anthropological research in the New World. It is in the main a by-product of the author's activities as a museum curator in which capacity he has sought to objectify and systematize the essential facts relating to aboriginal America. Thus, he is first of all indebted to the American Museum of Natural History for the opportunities and resources necessary to the development of the subject and for permission to use the experience so gained in the composition of these pages.

Of personal obligations there are many. All of my associates in the Museum have been most helpful: particularly, acknowledgment should be made to Doctor Robert H. Lowie who read the manuscript and offered many suggestions as to the scope and form of the work. In addition, recognition should be given Professor A. L. Kroeber, University of California, for valuable criticisms; to Mr. Leslie Spier for data on the archæology of eastern North America; and to Mr. Andrew T. Wylie, Teachers College, for suggestions as to the form of presentation. Finally, it is a pleasure to acknowledge my obligation to Professor Henry Fairfield Osborn, President of the American Museum of Natural History, for inspiration and encouragement in the earlier stages of the work.

The technical preparation of these pages was undertaken by my secretary, Miss Bella Weitzner, who compiled the tables of linguistic stocks, the bibliography, and the index, and whose long experience, coupled with extensive anthropological knowledge, greatly facilitated all phases of the work. The specimens illustrated are from the Museum collections. The maps, diagrams, and many of the drawings were executed by Mr. S. Ichikawa who also rendered indispensable assistance in the selection and arrangement of the illustrations.

Clark Wissler

June, 1917

CONTENTS

Page
Introduction 1
CHAPTER I
The Food Areas of the New World 7
Hunting Areas 9
The Salmon Area 14
The Area of Wild Seeds 16
The Agricultural Areas 17
General Discussion 23
Distribution of Narcotics 28
CHAPTER II
Domestication of Animals and Methods of Transportation 32
Canoes and Navigation 41
CHAPTER III
The Textile Arts 45
Spinning 46
Netting 49
Basketry 50
Cloth 55
Feather-work 61
Clothing 61
CHAPTER IV
The Ceramic Arts 67
Processes of Manufacture 69
Pottery Forms 72
Pottery Decoration 75
CHAPTER V
Decorative Designs 76
Textile Designs 76
Distribution of Designs 79
Symbolism 95
CHAPTER VI
Architecture 100
CHAPTER VII
Work in Stone and Metals 115
Types of Artifacts 118
Mines and Quarries 123
Metal Work 124
CHAPTER VIII
Special Inventions 127
CHAPTER IX
The Fine Arts 134
Literature 137
Music 145
CHAPTER X
Social Grouping 149
The Local Group 153
Clans and Gentes 154
Dual Divisions 158
Relationship Systems 159
Taboos and Social Privileges 161
Age Grades and Societies 162
Totemic Features 163
CHAPTER XI
Social Regulation 166
Conceptions of Property and Inheritance 173
Marriage Regulations 175
Education and General Discipline 177
CHAPTER XII
Ritualistic Observances 180
Supernatural Guardians and Totemism 185
Shamanism 187
The Personal Relation in Ritualism 191
CHAPTER XIII
Mythology 194
Mythology and Religious Conceptions 198
Unity of New World Culture 202
CHAPTER XIV
The Classification of Social Groups according to their Cultures 204
The Historic Tribes 206
North American Culture Areas 206
 1. The Plains Area 206
 2. Plateau Area 209
 3. California Area 212
 4. North Pacific Coast Area 213
 5. Eskimo Area 215
 6. Mackenzie Area 217
 7. Eastern Woodland Area 219
 8. Southeastern Area 222
 9. Southwestern Area 224
10. The Nahua Area 227
South American Culture Areas 229
11. The Chibcha Area 229
12. The Inca Area 231
13. The Guanaco Area 232
14. Amazon Area 236
15. The Antilles 242
Culture Centers 242
CHAPTER XV
Archæological Classification 245
North America 245
 1. The North Atlantic Area 245
 2. South Atlantic Area 249
 3. The Iroquoian Area 250
 4. The Mississippi-Ohio Area 252
 5. The Great Lake Area 253
 6. The Plains 254
 7. The Pueblo Area 256
 8. California 258
 9. The Columbia Basin 259
10. North Pacific Coast Area 260
11. The Arctic Area 260
12. The Canadian Area 260
13. Northern Mexico 260
14. Central Mexico 261
15. State of Oaxaca 261
16. Yucatan 261
17. Panama 261
18. The Antilles 263
South America 264
19. Colombia 264
20. Ecuador 265
21. Peru 265
22. Chile 266
23. The Atlantic Highlands 267
24. Patagonia 268
CHAPTER XVI
Chronology of Cultures 270
Chronologies determined by Stratification 273
Inapplicability of Old World Chronology 275
Inferential Chronologies 276
CHAPTER XVII
Linguistic Classification 280
Comparative Phonetics 286
Comparative Morphology 289
Distribution of Stocks 294
CHAPTER XVIII
Somatic Classification 298
Breadth of Face 299
Flattening of the Femur 300
Head Form 301
Orbits and Nasal Skeleton 307
Bodily Proportions 309
Summary of Somatic Characters 309
Relations to Mankind in General 310
Grouping by Somatic Characters 320
Chronological Types 323
CHAPTER XIX
Correlation of Classifications 327
Linguistics and Culture 331
Somatic Correlations 333
General Relations of Culture, Linguistics, and Somatology 334
The Migration Factor 334
The Influence of Environment 337
CHAPTER XX
Theories of Culture Origins 342
Culture Trait Association 350
The Historical Conception of Culture 352
CHAPTER XXI
New World Origins 355
APPENDIX
Linguistic Tables and Bibliography 367
Linguistic Stocks of the United States and Canada 369
Linguistic Stocks of Mexico and Central America 378
Linguistic Stocks of South America 381
Bibliography 387
Index 413


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Ruin known as the 'House of the Magician' Frontispiece
  1. Food Areas of the New World 8
  2. Cree Indians Driving Bison 11
  3. Patagonians Hunting the Guanaco 13
  4. Iroquois Woman Pounding Maize into Meal 19
  5. The Distribution of Maize and Manioc 24
  6. Pueblo Indian Planting Maize 26
  7. Cultivating Maize and Squashes 26
  8. Distribution of Coca and Tobacco 29
  9. Distribution of Animal Transport 33
 10. Eskimo Dog Sledge 36
 11. Indians of the Bison Area on the March 36
 12. Various Methods of Using the Tumpline 40
 13. Types of Canoes 42
 14. Ancient Mexican and Egyptian Spinners 48
 15. Navajo Woman Spinning 48
 16. Basketry Weaves 51
 17. Distribution of Types of Basketry 53
 18. Ojibway Weaving Frame 56
 19. A Navajo Weaver 56
 20. Distribution of Weaving 57
 21. Cape of Sagebrush Bark 59
 22. Peruvian Feather Poncho 61
 23. Types of Costume and their Distribution 62
 24. Forms of Footwear 64
 25. A Pueblo Indian Potter 67
 26. Distribution of Pottery 68
 27. Lower Mississippi Pottery 70
 28. South Atlantic Pottery 70
 29. North Atlantic Pottery 71
 30. Pottery from Southwestern United States 72
 31. Mexican Pottery 72
 32. Central American Pottery 73
 33. Peruvian Pottery 74
 34. Pottery from Eastern South America 74
 35. Types of Textile Design 78
 36. Types of Prehistoric Peruvian Textile Designs 79
 37. Decorative Design Areas 80
 38. Types of North American Basketry 81
 39. Beaded and Painted Designs 82
 40. The Decorative Art of the Plains Indians 85
 41. Design Elements 85
 42. Decorations on Birchbark 86
 43. Art of the North Pacific Coast Indians 89
 44. Prehistoric Textile Designs, Maya 90
 45. Mexican Textile Designs 91
 46. A Series of Peruvian Designs 92
 47. A Peruvian Poncho 94
 48. A Series of Designs and their Names 96
 49. True Symbols 98
 50. Cross-Section of the Temple of the Cross 100
 51. Groundplan of the House of the Nuns 102
 52. Elevations and Groundplans, Yucatan 103
 53. Section of the Hall of the Six Columns, Mexico 105
 54. Reconstruction of Pueblo Bonito 106
 55. Pebbles Showing the Process of Abrading 116
 56. Pieces of Worked Nephrite 117
 57. Common Types of Arrow-Head 119
 58. Knives of Copper from the Eskimo and Inca 121
 59. Methods of Drilling 128
 60. Wooden Slat Armor 132
 61. Two Figures from Palenque 135
 62. Statues of the Chacmool Type 136
 63. A Sculptured Turtle at Quirigua 136
 64. Life Size Pottery Figure 137
 65. Distribution of Sculpture 138
 66. Distribution of Clans and Gentes 156
 67. Culture Areas 205
 68. The Plains Indian Culture Area 207
 69. Plains Indian Life 208
 70. The Chilkat Indians 214
 71. Pueblo Indian Life 226
 72. A Patagonian Shelter Tent 233
 73. Scenes from Fuegian Life 234
 74. Distribution of Forests in South America 238
 75. A Caraja Village in Central Brazil 241
 76. Archæological Areas 246
 77. Types of Stone Implements, North Atlantic Area 247
 78. Section of Rock-Shelter 248
 79. Finch's Rock-Shelter 248
 80. Iroquois Archæological Types 251
 81. Problematic Forms 252
 82. Archæological Types of the Mississippi-Ohio Area 252
 83. The Fluted Ax and the Spud 255
 84. Ancient Maya Cities 262
 85. Linguistic Stocks in the United States and Canada 282
 86. Linguistic Stocks in Mexico and Central America 284
 87. Linguistic Stocks in South America 288
 88. Consolidation of California Stocks 293
 89. North American Types 298
 90. Brazilian Types 299
 91. Patagonian Types 299
 92. The Cephalic Index 302
 93. Skulls from North and South America 304
 94. Types from Central Brazil 309
 95. Diagrammatic Representation of Average Bodily Forms 310
 96. Bodily Forms from Various Races 311
 97. Lines of Dispersal for the Primates 315
 98. Living and Extinct Groups of Primates 315
 99. Dispersal of Mankind 318
100. Somatic Areas 324
101. Superposition of Culture Areas 330
102. Distribution of Men's Societies among the Plains Indians 349
103. North American Indian Tribes 435
104. South American Indian Tribes 435


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).