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ANTH 418 NOTES 2 MAR. 11 UNDERSTADNING THE HISTORICAL SOUTHWEST THROUGH PRIMARY SOURCES Ethnohistory- interdisciplinary field that studies past human behavior and is characterized by primary reliance on documents. Historiography- the study of how history is written Cultural relativism- ethical neutrality, researcher must resist interjecting moral values when studying another culture Document- anything designed to communicate a message visually Manuscript- handwritten document often unpublished Codex- manuscript that incorporates words and pictures Book- manuscript reproduced through printing and bound by volume Inscription- writing or picture in relief Graffiti- word messages Illumination- carefully drawn graphics Two major types of documents Primary- composed by a person who was present at the time or place being discussed, value of primary- potential to provide factual information on the past Secondary- composed by a person who is collecting and commenting on the original information contained in the primary documents, usually produced many years after, secondary value- provides interpretations rendered by scholars Mixed- documents that contain primary and secondary information MAR. 13 NARRITIVE VS. ETHNOHISTORICAL APPROACHES Historians demand greater attention to chronology and documentary evidence Eric Wolfe argued for a unified science of culture “people without history” those who did not leave a written record, from Eric Wolfe Edward Spicer a pioneer in southwest anthropology Studied the Yoeme and Yaqui Wrote the cycles of conquest 1962, points out that our knowledge of European expansion in the new world will always be incomplete, Native American voice and accounts filtered through a Spanish scribe Basis of his methodology is the ethnographic record- systematic description of religion, govt., community organization and world view of indigenous peoples Used largely secondary documents Symbols of collective identity, shows the Yaqui are an enduring people who survived various encounters with the Spanish Critiques of Spicer Stuart Voss- wide unfilled gaps, historical conceptions that are at odds with primary evidence, he relied too much on secondary evidence Evelyn Hu-Dehart- Spicers work is episodic, relied too much on (ethnographic present)- reading into the past what is known about the present Limitations of Hu-Dehart Rejects ethnography
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Documentary reductionism- if a primary document does mention a particular pattern we cannot assume the pattern existed, if its not in the document it could not have happened Did not practice internal criticism What to do? Search documents for any information that challenges or contradicts the ethnographic record
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