Harold C. Conklin is a Cognitive Anthropologist who examined how people perceive the world around them. In his field research Hanunóo color Categories,
Conklin revealed that people in different cultures recognize colors differently because of their unique linguistic classification systems. Conklin conducted his
research among the Hanunóo in the Philippines. He analyzed the Hanunóo color criteria and compared their classification system with the American one.
Conklin \his method
Conklin used linguistic methods because a vocabulary strongly influences the classification of colors. In addition to recording how the Hanunóo described colors of their natural
and artificial surroundings, Conklin showed them painted cards, dyed fabrics, and many other colored materials. As a result, he found that the Hanunóo group colors at the
following two levels. The first level is general, where there are four terms of colors: darkness, lightness, redness, and greenness. These colors are distinct from each other and
people always used the same color name to describe a certain color sample. The second level is specific, with hundreds of color names.
Since many color names overlap, people did not necessarily agree with each other when they classified colors in this level. In addition to actual colors, Conklin found that the
Hanunóo pay attention to moisture, texture and shine of objects and give different color names according to these criteria. Conklin concluded that the Hanunóo color classification
system is based on lightness, darkness, wetness, and dryness. These color criteria are different from the American color classification system, where moisture, texture and shine of
objects are not considered. Prior to Conklin¢€™s findings, researchers assumed that the Hanunóo confused colors because the people seemed to call the same color by different
terms. However, Conklin showed that seeming contradictions stemmed from the researchers¢€™ lack of understanding of the Hanunóo color criteria. The researchers could not
understand Hanunóo¢€™s color categories because the researchers imposed their own color criteria from their culture. Conklin's analysis helped anthropologists see how people in
different cultures conceptualize their world in their own ways.
Ethnoscience, or the Ã¢
as it was often called in the 1960s, consists of a set of methods for analyzing indigenous systems of
*classification, for example, of diseases, species of plants or types of food. Methods have changed through time. In the 1960s the heyday of ethnoscience,
*componential analysis was the primary method through which ethnoscience was practiced, and some practitioners regarded a description of the process of
eliciting data and constructing the analysis as equally crucial to the exercise (e.g. Black 1969).
Ethnoscience from book