The Story of a Tlingit Community: A Problem in the Relationship between Archeological, Ethnological and Historical Methods

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Author: de Laguna, Frederica Annis Lopez de Leo (1906 -2004

Year: 1960

Publisher: Government Printing Office

Place: Washington, DC


x+254 pages with 11 plates, 18 figures and index. Royal octavo (9 1/2" x 6") bound in original publisher's olive green cloth with gilt lettering to spine. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 172. First edition.

In 1932-33, de Laguna returned to Columbia and wrote her dissertation on the relation of Paleolithic and Eskimo Art, stating that a connection could neither be proved nor disproved. Also during this time Frederic had began Alaskan research (1930-1933) with Dr. Kaj Birket-Smith. Frederica located sites at Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet. In 1934 she published the Archaeology of Cook Inlet Alaska which was so thorough that the Alaska Historical Society reissued it in 1975.Frederica's fieldwork at the time was quite diverse. She studied Chugack prehistory, collected myths and a priceless collection of masks from the Ingalik, and built her own skiff to explore the Tanana and Yukon Rivers. She wrote about her findings in numerous works, her most cumulative was The Prehistory of Northern North America as Seen from the Yukon published in 1947.After this work, she studied at the Pima Indian Reservation in Arizona, financed by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. She believes that this was the only time in her career that her gender was a disadvantage. "Although officially designated as the chief of the party, she found that the men had secretly elected another male without informing her" (McClennan, 40). She soon quit because she received the National Research Council Fellowship which allowed her to study at various museums and libraries in America and Canada. In 1938 she returned to Denmark to study the collections that she and Birket -Smith had amassed while in Alaska. This trip was funded by her fictional detective stories, which she published in 1937 and 1938. She also served a s a delegate for the University of Pennsylvania Museum for the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences in Copenhagen.Delaguna joined the first class of WAVES during World War II in the U.S. Navy, leaving in 1945 as a Lieutenant Commander. After the war she returned to her Alaskan fieldwork from 1947-1949.She studied the Tlinglit village, taking a holistic approach to her findings. "She drew together into a unified whole the archaeology, ethnohistory, and ethnography of Anggon. This was one of the first of such studies of a North American Indian society" (McClennan, 40). Her research and experience resulted in her crowning work, Under Mount Saint Elias, published 1972. She received not only professional commendation for the work, but was honored in a potlach in 1986 by the Yakutat Tlinglit also.Professional Academic AccomplishmentsBy 1967, Frederica had created and chaired an Anthropology Department at her alma mater, Bryn Mawr. She retired in 1975 and received the Lindbach Award and made Kenan Professor, an endowed award. The same year she was elected into the National Academy of Science at the same time as Margaret Mead. During this time, Frederica kept lecturing, visiting archaeological digs throughout the world, publishing and researching.Frederica was President-Elect of the American Anthropological Association and President in 1966-67, when it faced political and economic crisis. During the Vietnam War, Frederica maintained " that the constitution did not specify a political role, political expressions should the be a matter for individual, not AAA action" (McClennan, 41). As a member in 1960, she edited and published Selected Papers from the American Anthropologist 1888 - 1920. All the royalties from the book went directly to the AAA, and was republished in 1976.Delaguna's accomplishments in anthropology, especially Alaskan archaeology, have been recognized by both scholars and the natives themselves. She cites Under Mount Saint Elias as her best work, reflecting her major influences - Boas, Kroeber and Hallowell. Although Frederica never " 'felt prepared to do theory'...she set out a consistent viewpoint revolving around questions of objectivity and subjectivity in her fieldwork, values, the individual culture, and the historic sweep of cultures" (McClennan, 42). She sees anthropology as the "only discipline that offers a conceptual schema for the whole content of human experience" (McClennan, 42).Bibliography * McClennan, Catharine. Women Anthropologists


Covers lightly rubbed, previous owner's name on front pastedown and first page, over all a better than very good copy without jacket as issued.

SOLD 2018

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