410 position paper nic g revised


Published on

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

410 position paper nic g revised

  1. 1. Nic GrosjeanANTH 410M. Scoggin1Indigenous ArchaeologyIndigenous voices of the world have historically been marginalized or entirelyabsent from historical accounts, governance, education, and other forms of humanaction and interaction. The term ‘indigenous’ in this instance and context is chosenspecifically to engender two unique yet related notions. The first connotation of‘indigenous’ is the popular and common definition for the term, roughly related as ‘whatculture(s) existed in a place before historic European colonization of the globe’Contemporarily, China and the United States take the role of the colonizers. The secondconnotation of ‘indigenous’ is meant to refer to the self and one’s personal voice (thisconnotation includes all people). That condition of the second connotation is thereafteraltered as our minds become colonized and acculturated through influences in ourhouseholds, education, and careers, becoming re-defined. In this paper the term‘indigenous Anthropology’ or ‘indigenous archaeology’ refers to the contemporaryinclusion of indigenous peoples and opinions into Anthropology and archaeology. Thisuse of the term ‘indigenous archaeology’ is meant to infer the same meaning as JoeWatkins does in his book Indigenous Archaeology: American Indian Values andScientific Practice. The terms ‘indigenous Anthropology’ and ‘indigenous archaeology’are not meant to refer to Messerschmidt’s use of the term ‘Indigenous Anthropology’,which denotes practicing Anthropology within and upon one’s own culture(Messerschmidt).These interpretations of ‘indigenous’ and this indigenous/colonized voiceinteraction are paramount to anthropology and the choices we make, both as humansand as anthropologists. Anthropology—the study of humans, human ancestors, and
  2. 2. Nic GrosjeanANTH 410M. Scoggin2humanness—during the twentieth century shifted its foci and ethical intentions, not fromindigenous to colonial, but from colonial to indigenous. Historically, anthropology andarchaeology have been conducted through a Western (Euro-American) cultural lens.This Western cultural lens portrays a given culture through the dominant Westernculture and rhetoric, and quite possibly is not a complete or correct examination of agiven. Contemporarily, an understanding the culture that is being studied is requisite toproperly understand portray a culture anthropologically or archaeologically. Issues inanthropology have recently ranged from epistemological, to practical, to theoretical andnumerous points between. Intrinsically these opinions, issues, and theories varydepending on who is reproducing as well as practicing them. Contemporarily, thepractices of anthropology and archaeology have increasingly been conducted throughan indigenous lens and have included indigenous voices and views. This increasedinclusion of indigenous views and voices belies a necessary change in anthropologyand archaeology, and is essential in order to more-aptly and more-respectfullydocument humans and their history.As identified by James Clifford, notable past faults of anthropology andarchaeology—and those anthropologists and archaeologists whom practiced it—varyfrom acting as authorities on native artifacts or acting without consultation with therespective tribes to conducting excavations without receiving prior permission from alltribes locally. (Clifford 5). Clifford continues by identifying another past fault as the lackof exchange information about anthropological and archaeological results betweenNative American tribes and anthropologists (Clifford). These historical aspects ofanthropology are rooted in the colonial mind-frame within which anthropology
  3. 3. Nic GrosjeanANTH 410M. Scoggin3developed. Clifford discusses and posits the, “possibilities and limits of collaborativework,” between Native Americans and anthropologists (Clifford 5). Clifford is qualified todiscuss and ponder these possibilities through his work on Native heritage exhibitionswith Native Alaskans in Southern Alaska (Clifford). One way of resisting or negatinganthropologys colonial influence (gained during the anthropology’s development) canbe found through indigenous anthropology. Indigenous anthropology seeks to addressand amend some issues that historically have both insulted and offended nativecommunities and simultaneously hindered and caused the evolution of anthropologyand archaeology (Watkins XIII). That being said, the importance of the history ofanthropology cannot be understated. It is from our histories and pasts that we plan forour futures, and despite present-day criticisms of past anthropologists, they played theircrucial role in the evolution of anthropology and anthropological theory.Past Anthropologists and their bodies of thought should not be disregardedbecause of current disagreement with their methods, practices, or goals, for they offerand have founded many theories that persist and are enacted today. Franz Boascontributed greatly to the field of anthropology during his professional career. Boas isconsidered widely as the father of American Anthropology, despite being formallyeducated in physics and geology (Boas). The aim of anthropological research,according to Boas, was an attempt to understand humans and their past and presentbiology, psychology, and culture (Boas—Aims of Anthropological Research). Boas isconsidered the father of American Anthropology because of his legacy: laying thefoundation for Anthropology’s four sub-fields (Boas). Interestingly, Boas utilized cranialmeasurements to challenge racial inferiority theories while the same types of
  4. 4. Nic GrosjeanANTH 410M. Scoggin4measurements served others to embolden their theories regarding and supporting racialcategories (Boas). Despite some controversy surrounding Boas, during his career andafter his passing, Boas contributed much to what is considered modern North AmericanAnthropology (Boas). This influence stems from his body of work and spread outwardthrough those he influenced professionally—Kroeber, Sapir, and Meade to name a few(Boas).Burgeoning partially from the lasting influence of the, “murky ferment of Frenchcolonial history,” are such theorists as Sartre, Bourdieu, and Foucault (Goodwin-Smith).All three of these men had measurable impact and influence on anthropology as apractice and science, yet all three will not be discussed here. Despite Foucault notbeing an Anthropologist, his theories are still relevant to the field of Anthropology andare discussed contemporarily. Arguably one of Foucault’s greatest contributions toAnthropological theory was his theory on post-structuralism (Goodwin-Smith). Post-structuralism is a theory that arose in response to structuralism. Post-structuralismstates that there is not a unified truth and instability is inherent to all structures(Eagleton). This aspect of post-structuralism is especially relevant to Anthropology.Furthermore post-structuralism identifies that power structures reinforce hierarchies(Owl). Boas and Foucault both influenced anthropology as a study and a science andthese influences created opportunities for new advancements in anthropology andanthropological theory.Despite, and arguably because of, some past scholars’ and anthropologists’lacking utilization of indigenous voices and knowledge, the study of anthropology andarchaeology has begun to incorporate indigenous peoples and their viewpoints into
  5. 5. Nic GrosjeanANTH 410M. Scoggin5anthropological and archaeological work. As stated by Ferguson, "fundamental changesare occurring in the way archaeology is conducted in the Americas" and as Fergusonpoints out, there will always be both proponents and opponents to any kind of change(Ferguson). Ferguson looks to the chance this change presents—both for NativeAmericans and anthropologists and archaeologists—to work together conductingindigenous archaeology (Ferguson). Not only are indigenous voices now more valued,sought, and presented, but also anthropology and archaeology are being conducted byindigenous peoples, as will be discussed in more depth later.Vine Deloria was a prominent Native American scholar and leader with a lawdegree from the University of Colorado (Deloria). Deloria was a pivotal figure inAmerican politics of the twentieth and early twenty-first century and during the civilrights movement and the American Indian Movement (Deloria). In his first book, CusterDied for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto Deloria “redefined the relationship of NativePeoples to Anthropologists and Archaeologists” (Leventhal 3). In short, Deloriacondemned the study and characterization of Native Americans as a strange, perishingtype of people, necessary to study and quantify (Stocking). Deloria suggested thatanthropologists should refrain from studying Native Americans unless thoseanthropologists could present a tangible advantage in accepting such proposed study(Deloria). Deloria wanted Anthropologists, “to seek tribal permission for their work andto focus on ‘applied’ research helpful to Indians in the here and now” (Stocking 270).Seeking tribal permission before a project is started through explicit contractagreements has now become a standard Archaeological practice (Clifford). Deloriagave, “Native individuals and their governments…intellectual, theoretical, philosophical,
  6. 6. Nic GrosjeanANTH 410M. Scoggin6and substantive arguments necessary to support their inherent personal and nationalsovereignty" (Wilkins 151). Another crucial aspect of Deloria’s body of work, “sought toimprove the nation-to nation and intergovernmental relationships of and between FirstNations, and between First Nations and non-Native governments at all levels" (Wilkins).Deloria had an aunt, Ella C. Deloria, who was an anthropologist, publishing works onAmerican Indian linguistics and ethnography (Deloria).In their book Digging It Up Down Under: A Practical Guide to Doing Archaeologyin Australia, Claire Smith and Heather Burke discuss in-depth the process of conductingarchaeology in Australia (Smith). Their book is relevant to this essay because of theimportance Smith and Burke place on interaction between local Aboriginal tribes before,throughout, and concluding the archaeological process (Smith). Smith and Burke statethat historical archaeology is, "the heritage of contemporary communities" (Smith 206).An important caveat made by Smith and Burke is on the possibility of archaeologicalresults coming into conflict with the truths held by a given community regarding theirunderstanding of their culture and history (Smith). Alternate truths, no matter howimmiscible, all can offer to share alternate and worthy understandings of ourselves andthe world that surrounds us. A key example given by Smith and Burke where theinclusion of Aboriginal people in anthropological and archaeological work is beneficialand arguably indispensable is the analysis of rock art in Australia (Smith). Theinterpretations of rock art by culturally-foreign anthropologists are limited to descriptiveand comparative analyses, and these interpretations may be entirely erroneous to theactual meaning of painting (Smith). This limitation is overcome when AboriginalAustralian artists and elders local to the painting(s) in question are consulted (Smith).
  7. 7. Nic GrosjeanANTH 410M. Scoggin7This positive, focused interaction between Aboriginal Australians and anthropologistsand archaeologists is one instance where a great array of information becomesavailable to learn about. Rock art in Australia is used by Aboriginal people to document,“social activities, economy, material culture, ideology, and environmental context”encompassing all parts of their lives, history, culture, and environment (Smith 173).Joe Watkins is an authority on the integration of Native Americans intoarchaeology as he is a Choctaw Indian and a practicing archaeologist. He also is aproponent of this paper’s use of the term ‘indigenous archaeology’. In his bookIndigenous Archaeology: American Indian Values and Scientific Practice, Watkins callsfor the advancement and increased practice of indigenous archaeology. In his view,indigenous archaeology would be defined as including native peoples as partners withequal decision-making power in cultural resources management and its practice(Watkins). Watkins himself is an example of indigenous archaeology, but also givesexamples in his book where indigenous archaeology has been implemented (Watkins).One major example given by Watkins is the Navajo Cultural Resources ManagementProgram (Stamps). The Navajo Cultural Resources Management Program was createdby, and is run by and for, the Navajo Nation (Begay). The Navajo Cultural ResourcesManagement Program has its roots in the Navajo Nation’s Tribal Museum (Begay).During the 1950s the Navajo Nation’s Tribal Museum was heading an activearchaeological and historic research program (Begay). By 1977, the Navajo Nationformally established their cultural resources management program (Begay). The NavajoNation later created the Navajo Historic Preservation Department in 1986, which waslargely empowered by the Navajo Nation’s passing of the Cultural Resources Protection
  8. 8. Nic GrosjeanANTH 410M. Scoggin8Act (Begay). The act placed, “the authority for Navajo historic preservation decisionswith the Navajo Nation and the Historic Preservation Department (Begay). Theseactions by the Navajo Nation are a further example showing how indigenousanthropology and indigenous archaeology can create benefit for all parties involved.Indigenous voices have historically been disregarded and absent from historicalaccounts, governance, education, and many other human interactions. The term‘indigenous’ in this instance and context is chosen specifically to engender two uniqueyet related notions. This essay argued for the increasing need and necessity forimplementation of an indigenous form of archaeology. Indigenous anthropology andarchaeology mark a shift in greater anthropological and archaeological ethical intent.Indigenous archaeology rejects the Western cultural lens in sake of a culturally relevantlens. Contemporarily, anthropology and archaeology have increasingly relied upon aculturally-native cultural lens, provided through the inclusion of native peoples intoanthropology and archaeology. This increasing inclusion of native peoples, views, andvoices into anthropology and archaeology is necessary in order to document humanhistory through more respectful and complete means.
  9. 9. Nic GrosjeanANTH 410M. Scoggin9BibliographyBegay, Daryl R. “Navajo Preservation: The Success of the Navajo Nation HistoricPreservation Department” CRM Vol. 14, No. 4 National Parks Service. Web.http://crm.cr.nps.gov/archive/14-4/14-4-all.pdfBoas, Franz. “The Aims of Anthropological Research” Science, New Series, Vol. 76, No.1983 (Dec. 30, 1932). 605-613. Web. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1656627"Boas, Franz." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A. Darity,Jr. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Macmillan Reference, (2008). 344-346. Gale VirtualReference Library. Web. 7 Mar. 2013.http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3045300218&v=2.1&u=hum_gvrl&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=wClifford, James. “Looking Several Ways: Anthropology and Native Heritage in Alaska”Current Anthropology. Vol. 45, No. 1 (2004). 5-30. Web.http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/379634"Deloria, Vine Jr." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 2004.481-484. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 Mar. 2013.http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CCX3404701728&v=2.1&u=hum_gvrl&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=wFerguson, T. J. “Native Americans and the Practice of Archaeology”. Annual Review ofAnthropology. Vol. 25 (October 1996). 63-79. Web.http://www.annualreviews.org.ezproxy.humboldt.edu/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.anthro.25.1.63Leventhal, Richard M. "Vine Deloria, Jr. (1933--2005)." Expedition Vol. 48.1 (2006): 3.Academic Search Elite. Web. 7 Mar. 2013.
  10. 10. Nic GrosjeanANTH 410M. Scoggin10Messerschmidt, Donald A. “On Indigenous Anthropology: Some Observations” CurrentAnthropology. Vol. 22, No. 2 (Apr., 1981). 197-198. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2742723Goodwin-Smith, I. “Resisting Foucault: the necessity of appropriation” Social Identities,(2010). 587-596.Eagleton, Terry “Marxism, Structuralism, and Post-Structuralism: In the Tracks ofHistorical Materialism by Perry Anderson” Diacritics. Vol. 15, No. 4 (1985). 2-12. Web.http://www.jstor.org/stable/464931Smith, Claire; Burke, Heather. “Digging It Up Down Under: A Practical Guide to DoingArchaeology in Australia” New York: Springer Science+Business Media, (2007). Et al.Print.Stamps, Richard B. “Indigenous Archaeology: American Indian Values and ScientificPractice” by Joe Watkins” American Antiquity. Vol. 68, No. 1 (2003). 196-197. Web.http://www.jstor.org/stable/3557051Stocking George W., Jr. Review “Indians and Anthropology: Vine Deloria, Jr., and theCritique of Anthropology by Thomas Biolsi; Larry J. Zimmerman; Vine Deloria”. PacificHistorical Review, Vol. 67, No. 2 (May, 1998), 270-272. Web.http://www.jstor.org/stable/3641568Watkins, Joe. "Indigenous Archaeology: American Indian Values and ScientificPractice". Walnut Creek: Alta Mira Press, (2000). Et al. Print.Wilkins, David E. “Vine Deloria Jr. and Indigenous Americans” Wicazo Sa Review, Vol.21, No. 2 (Autumn, 2006). 151-155. Web. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4140273