William C. Sturtevant is widely regarded as one of the leading North Americanist ethnologists of the second half of the twentieth century. He has dedicated his career, spanning half a century, to extensive research on the cultures and histories of the indigenous peoples of the entire North American continent as well as those of much of the rest of the Western Hemisphere. The breadth of his interests and knowledge distinguish him from most other North Americanists of his and subsequent generations, who have tended to focus their research on specific societies or regions of North America.
Sturtevant's first publication was a review of a popular book on the Seminole Indians of Florida (Sturtevant, 1952). In the decades since, he has produced over 200 scholarly publications on New World anthropology and on other themes as well, most notably the history and philosophy of anthropology as a discipline and the importance of museums and material culture to the anthropological enterprise. At the same time, he has devoted considerable time and energy to the activities of several of anthropology's major professional organizations and has curated one of the largest museum collections of North American Indian materials in the world.
Sturtevant's entry into anthropology coincided with World War II, a watershed event in the history of anthropology in the United States. Before the war, most American ethnologists conducted their research among North American Indians, with Franz Boas and his students dominating the field. After the war, the focus of American ethnology became more global, and the percentage of ethnologists working in North America declined dramatically. Despite his interest in world ethnology, Sturtevant chose to concentrate his research on North American ethnology and to build upon the extensive knowledge about American Indians accumulated by his North Americanist predecessors.
This decision is but one of several instances in which Sturtevant has gone against the grain of trends in anthropology. He adopted a comparativist approach in his research during an era of growing particularism. He promoted a historical perspective in anthropology when the dominant theoretical approaches were largely ahistorical, and he advocated research on material culture and museum collections when such research was decidedly out of fashion. lie also explored basic issues related to European images of non-European people and their worlds long before anthropologists considered these issues to be interesting or recognized the value of the images themselves to anthropological research.
He has not taken these positions simply to be contrary but because they follow logically from his vision of what anthropology should be and from the insights he has gained from the pursuit of his own particular research interests. His views on these matters have often placed his work "out of sync" with the shifting trends of anthropology, but more often than not this work has anticipated, in some cases by decades, the directions that subsequent anthropological theory and research have taken.
Sturtevant began his formal education in anthropology in the spring of 1944, when he entered the University of California at Berkeley (Cal) as a second-semester freshman. His interest in anthropology, however, extends back to his grammar-school days. He remembers first hearing of anthropology while he was a third grader at Polytechnic Elementary in Pasadena, California. One afternoon, after a class on American Indians, he asked his father what kind of people study Indians, and his father replied, "Anthropologists." Sturtevant decided then that he would make anthropology his career.
In the preceding essay, Sturtevant's sister, Harriet Sturtevant Shapiro, provides an engaging portrait of their family and their childhood years together (Shapiro, 2002). Here I will add only that Sturtevant completed his secondary education at McKinley Junior High School and Pasadena Junior College (now Pasadena City College), the latter offering both high school and the first two years of college. Because he had taken extra credits, he was eligible for graduation from high school by the end of his junior year, but he did not realize the fact until the fall semester of his senior year. He took several college-level courses that semester at Pasadena Junior College, and in the spring semester of 1944, he began classes at Cal.
Sturtevant chose Cal over other universities because it was relatively close to home, and its anthropology department was among the best in the country. During his first semester there, he concentrated on studying foreign languages, which had long held a fascination for him, taking courses in Chinese and in Spanish.' To gain some firsthand experience in a foreign culture and to continue his education in anthropology, he traveled in the summer of 1944 to Mexico City, where he attended summer school at the Univcrsidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. There he took courses on Mexican archaeology and South American ethnology taught by Robert Barlow and George Engerrand, explored Mexico City, and visited archaeological sites nearby and in the Yucatan. He also turned 18 and registered for the draft at the United States Embassy in Mexico City.
A bout with hepatitis prevented Sturtevant from returning to Cal in the fall and delayed his being drafted until March of 1945, when he entered the United States Navy. After boot camp in San Diego, he was assigned to the hospital corps and was stationed at the Naval Air Station in Calexico, California, where he was given the task of treating sailors for venereal diseases they had contracted during visits across the Mexican border. He was at Calexico when the war ended, and shortly afterward he was transferred to Guam. There he spent most of his time on night duty, sitting idle in an ambulance on the edge of an airstrip. To break the tedium, he prepared a map of Guam. He also made a small surface collection at an archaeological site at Tumon Bay, which he later donated to the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale, and joined a discharged Navy officer who was a botanist in collecting plants on different parts of the island. This botanical work gave him the opportunity to visit briefly with native Guamanians, whose settlements were otherwise off-limits.
Sturtevant's military service ended on 30 September 1946, at San Pedro, California, where he received an honorable discharge with the rank of pharmacist's mate third class.2 He immediately resumed his studies at Cal. Alfred Kroeber, the dean of American anthropology of the era and for decades the dominant figure in the Department of Anthropology at Cal, retired in 1946, before Sturtevant's return. Kroeber began spending the academic year at other major anthropology departments in the United States, and although he returned to Berkeley in the summers, he gave no classes. Sturtevant took courses offered by the department's senior anthropologists, including Robert Lowie and E.W. Gifford, but his closest contacts were with the younger anthropologists, primarily Robert Heizer, John Rowe, and David Mandelbaum.
Heizer and Rowe provided Sturtevant with his first formal introduction to American Indian studies and convinced him of the fundamental connection between ethnology and archaeology. Along with Mandelbaum, Rowe was also an important influence in the area of anthropological theory. Sturtevant recalls as especially useful and challenging Rowe's reading course on the history of anthropology. Rowe would give each student a topic, expecting a report a week later, which he would then read and comment on to the class. One week he assigned to Sturtevant Herbert Spencer's magnum opus, the five-volume Principles of Sociology! Sturtevant was impressed by the breadth of Rowe's knowledge, his dedication to his research, and his respect and high expectations for his students. Rowe served as Sturtevant's undergraduate advisor and guided him in the preparation of a research paper on the origins and history of Chinook jargon.
In part because of the influence of his uncle Edgar Sturtevant, a renowned linguist, and in part because of his keen interest in the subject, Sturtevant also enrolled in several linguistics courses. At the time, linguistics was not being offered in the Department of Anthropology, so he took courses with professors in other departments: phonetics and phonemics from Murray Emeneau in the classics department, and advanced linguistics from Mary Haas, a linguist in the Department of Oriental Languages. Haas was especially important in encouraging Sturtevant to develop a competency in linguistics and, later, after he began research among the Seminoles, in providing him with guidance in his analysis of Muskogean linguistic materials, one of her areas of specialization.
During his undergraduate years at Cal, Sturtevant gained his first experience in anthropological fieldwork. He interviewed Japanese-American students who had been interned in relocation camps during the war, and he attended the University of New Mexico's 1947 summer field school in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, where he learned the basics of archaeological fieldwork and visited briefly among the Navajos and Rio Grande Pueblos. In June of 1949, he spent one weekend with Clement Meighan, Francis Riddell, and Tullio Tentori among the Eastern Pomos in northern California (Meighan and Riddell, 1972). He also joined fellow student William King on a short archaeological surface survey of the California coast from San Diego south well into Baja California. Apart from King, Sturtevant's closest friends among the undergraduate anthropology majors at Berkeley were Henry Nicholson and Donald Lathrop.
Sturtevant was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa during his junior year, and in the fall of his senior year, he began considering where to apply for graduate school. Apart from the University of California, which encouraged its undergraduates to pursue their graduate educations elsewhere, the leading anthropology graduate departments at the time were at the University of Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Michigan, Pennsylvania, University of California at Los Angeles, and Yale. John Rowe regarded Yale as the best of these and recommended that he apply there. Sturtevant was impressed by the quality of the faculty at Yale and by Yale's reputation as a center for innovative theoretical work in anthropology, especially in the area of culture and personality studies. He was particularly attracted by the prospect of studying with Ralph Linton, whose work on acculturation and, more recently, culture and personality theory, combined with his writings on anthropology in general, had established him as one of the most important anthropologists of the day. He decided to apply only to Yale, a decision reinforced by the fact that his uncle Edgar was a member of the linguistics department there.
The University of California gave Sturtevant academic credit for training that he had received in the Navy Hospital Corps. Combined with credits he had earned at Pasadena Junior College, he was able to graduate early, receiving a bachelor's degree with highest honors in anthropology in January 1949. He stayed in Berkeley to audit several courses during the spring semester of 1949. The following summer, he studied French and German in preparation for examinations in reading comprehension in these languages that he would be required to take upon entering Yale in the fall. By remaining in Berkeley, he passed up an opportunity to attend summer school at the University of Oslo. He regretted his decision after taking the examinations, because they turned out to be less challenging than he had expected.
Yale, like most other departments of anthropology in the United States, promoted a comprehensive approach to the study of humanity, which required an understanding of what have become identified as the four principal subfields of the discipline: ethnology, archaeology, linguistics, and physical anthropology. Sturtevant's undergraduate and graduate training in this approach established the vision of anthropology that he has maintained throughout his career. He clearly expressed his view of the connections among the four subfields in his 1969 article "Does Anthropology Need Museums?" After acknowledging that each of the subdisciplines has its special interests and perspectives as well as linkages to separate, nonanthropological disciplines, he commented:
But anthropology remains a single subject, with sub-divisions. Some observers believe that it will not (and sometimes that it should not) remain so, that increasing specialization will lead to fragmentation. But this specialization often overlaps sub-field boundaries, so that the discipline may well become a network rather than a rigid set of four pigeonholes. I believe that the sub-fields will (and should) continue to offer more to each other than to outside disciplines. (Sturtevant, 1969a:630-63 1)~
A number of major figures or rising stars in anthropology were on the faculty at Yale while Sturtevant was a graduate student there, and he took courses from most of them: social structure, cultural processes, and culture and personality from Linton; cultural dynamics from George Peter Murdock; New World and Asian ethnology from Cornelius Osgood, Wendell Bennett, and Sidney Mintz; archaeology from Irving Rouse; and linguistics from Floyd Lounsbury. He also participated in a seminar directed by George Kubler on the analysis of Mixtec codices and took several linguistics courses from Bernard Bloch.
His professors provided him with a solid foundation in anthropological theory and method as well as a good background in more specific areas, like structuralist linguistics and New World ethnology and archaeology, which he put to good use in his subsequent research. However, once he had firsthand experience with the theoretical approaches in vogue or development at Yale at the time, such as culture and personality theory promoted by Linton and others and Murdock's cross-cultural statistical studies, he was not convinced of their value. Also, like many other students and professional anthropologists, he found Linton a difficult person to deal with (Sturtevant, 1980a). He served as Linton's teaching assistant in courses on social organization and introduction to anthropology, but he was not eager to complete his dissertation under Linton's guidance. Floyd Lounsbury, who completed his doctorate at Yale and joined the faculty the same year that Sturtevant arrived, became his doctoral advisor.
As is typical in graduate school, Sturtevant found that he learned as much about anthropology from other graduate students as from his professors. His cohort included Stefan Borhegyi, Harold Conklin, Philip Dark, William Davenport, Charles Frake, Peter Goethals, William Mangin, John Musgrave, Leopold Pospisil, Donald Robertson, Douglas Schwartz, Annemarie Shimony, Councill Taylor, Johannes Wilbert, and Stephen Williams. In long conversations in Yale's Hall of Graduate Studies, he and his fellow graduate students developed their ideas about anthropology, exchanged opinions about the work of their professors and other anthropologists, and defined the goals and plans for their own research. (4)
Sturtevant's perspectives on anthropology were strongly influenced by his fieldwork among the Seminole, which he began in the summer of 1950, at the conclusion of his first year of graduate studies. Although many of his friends were planning research outside the United States, Sturtevant's long-term commitment to North American ethnology never wavered; however, he had not yet decided on the region of North America where he would focus his research. Rouse, a specialist on Caribbean archaeology who had also published on Florida archaeology, suggested he consider the Seminoles of south Florida. By the end of his first fieldwork season, Sturtevant was convinced that the dearth of ethnographic information about these Seminoles and their status as one of the least acculturated of all North American Indian societies justified ethnographic research among them and offered the possibility of making an important contribution to North American ethnology.
In 1950 the Florida Seminoles lived in a number of small communities in and around the Everglades. The members of these communities were the descendants of the minority of Seminoles who had successfully avoided deportation to Indian Territory by the United States government during the nineteenth century. These and the Seminoles who were deported derived primarily from distinct groups of Muskogean-speaking Indians who had migrated or had been displaced progressively southward from their homes in southern Georgia and Alabama during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Reflecting the diverse origins of their ancestors, the Florida Seminoles spoke two related but mutually unintelligible languages: Mikasuki (a dialect of Hitchiti) and a dialect of Muskogee (Creek) now sometimes called Creek Seminole (Sturtevant, 1971a).
The limited ethnographic research on the Seminoles that had been completed before 1950 focused primarily on the Muskogee-speaking Seminoles, so Sturtevant decided to concentrate on the Mikasukis in his own work. In the summer of 1950 and again in the summer of 1951, he traveled from New Haven, Connecticut, to south Florida, his field expenses covered by Yale's Caribbean Anthropological Program, directed by Osgood, which in turn was supported by funds from the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. He had concluded that the best approach to beginning ethnographic fieldwork among the Mikasukis and to establishing rapport with them would be to study the language. Accordingly, he devoted most of his time during these two summers to collecting and analyzing Mikasuki words, phrases, and texts, focusing more on phonology than on morphology or syntax. (5) The superintendent of the Dania (now Hollywood) Reservation recommended that he hire Joseph Jumper to work with him. At the time, Jumper was a high school student on the Dania Reservation; when he graduated, he became one of the first Seminoles to obtain a high school degree. Jumper proved to be of invaluable assistance in the project, and by the end of the second summer, they had worked out the phonemics of Mikasuki.
Through this research, Sturtevant established a basic understanding of the Mikasuki language, which allowed him to record Mikasuki terms accurately, analyze their etymologies, and evaluate the translations of Jumper and other interpreters upon whom he relied in his interviews with non-English-speaking Seminoles. He also gained some familiarity with the Muskogee language as well as a Mikasuki nickname, roughly translatable as "Language Asker." He soon discovered, however, that his growing competency in the Seminole languages did not provide the entrée to Mikasuki society that he had hoped for. Most Mikasukis were suspicious of outsiders, and they were reluctant to interact with him on more than the most superficial level.
It was thus good fortune that, near the end of the summer of 1950, he met Josie Billie, a Mikasuki doctor and medicine man about whom Sturtevant (1954b:4) wrote in his doctoral dissertation, "no greater expert on Seminole culture is now alive" (cf. Sturtevant, 1960c). In the 1940s, Billie, along with about one-third of the Florida Seminole population, had converted to the Southern Baptist religion, but he continued to practice traditional Seminole medicine. He was different from most other Mikasukis, including his fellow Christian converts, in being more open to outsiders and more willing to discuss details of Seminole culture with them. Sturtevant chatted briefly with Billie on the Dania Reservation in 1950 and, in the summer of 1951, visited him at his home on the Big Cypress Reservation. When he returned to Florida the following year to complete his doctoral research, he moved into an abandoned trailer on Big Cypress and began working intensively with him.
During the summer of 1950, he met another person who was to have a significant impact on his Seminole research and his perspective on the anthropological endeavor as a whole: John Goggin, a major figure in Florida anthropology. In his obituary of Goggin, who died of cancer in 1963, Sturtevant described their relationship:
He was very much interested in all aspects of Seminole ethnography. My own friendship with him began when he visited me during my first fieldwork as a graduate student in 1950 and 1951, decided that I was serious about Seminole ethnography, and thereafter at every opportunity encouraged and helped me, sharing his knowledge of Seminole history and culture (including his own field notes, photographs, specimens, and large newspaper clipping file), extending his hospitality to me, and introducing and sponsoring me among his many friends in Florida. (Sturtevant, 1964b:389)
Goggin's interests and expertise extended across much of North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America and encompassed most of the subfields of anthropology. Although primarily an archaeologist, he was firmly committed, in Sturtevant's words, "to a unified approach to anthropological materials, particularly the interconnections of archeology, ethnology, history, and natural history" (Sturtevant, 1964b:389). Goggin's view of anthropology reinforced Sturtevant's own conviction of the value of the comprehensive approach iii which he had been trained. Goggin also impressed upon Sturtevant the importance of material culture to anthropological research and inspired him to explore museums, archives, and the extremely varied published literature for information to complement his ethnographic field data.
In the fall of 1951, Sturtevant attended the annual Conference on Iroquois Research at Red House, New York, in the company of Harold Conklin, who had developed an interest in the Iroquois while a high school student in New York. Sturtevant and Conklin had met while both were anthropology undergraduates at Berkeley, but they did not become good friends until Conklin entered graduate school at Yale in the fall of 1950, a year after Sturtevant. At the conference, William Fenton introduced them to some local Seneca people who invited them to attend the Seneca Midwinter ceremonies to be held the following January and February on the Allegany Seneca Reservation, near Salamanca in western New York State. In the intervening months, they decided that the purpose of their visit would be to study Seneca musical instruments, one of the few categories of traditional Iroquois material culture still in existence, but one that had been little studied.
They spent 11 days at Allegany, during which time they worked out the Seneca classification of musical instruments, recorded detailed information on their construction and use, and acquired examples of several of the musical instruments for the Yale Peabody Museum, which sponsored the project. Sturtevant was pleased that the Senecas, unlike the Seminoles, treated him as an individual rather than as just another white outsider and that they welcomed his questions about their culture and history. This visit marked the beginning of his now decades-long research among the Iroquois.
They reported the results of their research in a coauthored article (Conklin and Sturtevant, 1953). In its careful recording of Seneca terms, close attention to Seneca perspectives, and thorough coverage of the relevant literature, this article exemplifies the high standards of scholarship that characterize all of their subsequent research and writing and foreshadows their development, in collaboration with several others, of the approach to ethnography commonly known as ethnoscience.
FIGURE 3.-Josie Billie and William Sturtevant, Big Cypress Reservation, 28 March 1959. Photograph by Harold C. Conklin.
In May 1952 Sturtevant resumed his fieldwork among the Florida Seminoles. Two months later, he left for his family's summer home in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where, on 26 July, his twenty-sixth birthday, he and Theda Maw were married. Maw, from Burma, was a graduate student in history at Yale when they met in 1950; they became engaged in the spring of 1952. Following the wedding, they returned together to Florida, where Sturtevant continued his field research.
Sturtevant focused this research on Seminole ethnography rather than on linguistics, attempting to gather as much information on as many different aspects of Seminole culture as possible. He also collected some physical anthropological data on such things as Seminole blood-type frequencies, handedness, color blindness, and dentition, and he made a small collection of ethnographic materials for the Yale Peabody Museum to supplement those deposited earlier by Goggin and others. His original plan had been to produce a general ethnography of the Seminole, but he decided to focus on Seminole medicine because this was the area of Seminole culture about which Billie was most interested and knowledgeable. A few other Mikasuki people shared bits of information with him, but only Billie was willing to discuss Seminole culture in any detail. Although he was aware of the methodological problems of relying so heavily on a single informant, and he recognized that Billie was somewhat marginal to traditional Mikasuki society, he had no other options.
Sturtevant worked regularly with Billie through the fall and winter of 1952 and into early 1953. Their discussions focused on Seminole medicine, worldview, and religion, but they also covered Seminole history, inter-ethnic relations, material culture, economy, kinship, and social organization. Together they collected hundreds of plants, for which Billie provided Mikasuki and often Muskogee names as well as detailed information on their use. Sturtevant was also able to make wire and later tape recordings of 18 medicinal spells and songs, a central but previously undocumented component of Seminole medical practice, which Billie and other Mikasuki doctors recited or sang for him. Also of great importance was the information he gathered on Seminole medicine bundles, the significance of which was poorly understood at the time. In investigating these bundles, he built upon the research of Louis Capron, a longtime resident of south Florida who over the years had established amicable relations with several Muskogee Seminoles. He had access to the galley proofs of Capron's (1953) study entitled "The Medicine Bundles of the Florida Seminole and the Green Corn Dance," and he used Capron's findings to elicit information from Billie about Mikasuki bundles and their place in Seminole culture.
In late February 1953, the Sturtevants left Big Cypress to return to New Haven, and Sturtevant devoted the next 18 months to analyzing his notes and recordings, reviewing the relevant literature, and writing his dissertation.6 He submitted the dissertation in September 1954, and it was approved before Christmas; he was officially awarded the Ph.D. at the end of the spring semester of 1955.
As is often the case with doctoral dissertations, the title he gave his dissertation "The Mikasuki Seminole: Medical Beliefs and Practices" is misleadingly specific. In it, he examined not only these beliefs and practices but the many other areas of Mikasuki culture linked to them, and he produced one of the more detailed, systematic ethnobotanical studies available for any American Indian society. He also compared his findings among the Seminole with data from Indian societies across the Southeast and in other regions of North America and considered some more general theoretical issues, such as the validity of broad, cross-cultural typologies of diseases and psychological explanations of the efficacy of curing practices. The result is the most thorough ethnography of the Mikasuki ever written and is a significant contribution to a comparative ethnology of North America. By discussing in detail the difficulties he encountered in his research among the Mikasuki and the limitations of his data, he also provided an important portrayal of the complexities of anthropological fieldwork and a model of anthropological candor.
Sturtevant incorporated into his doctoral dissertation only about one-third of his field data and an even smaller proportion of the extensive materials on Florida Indian ethnography and history that he had gathered from other sources. While he was writing his dissertation, he drew on this additional information to produce three articles. In one of these, he provided a detailed comparison of his data on Seminole medicine bundles and husks with data collected by Capron (Sturtevant, 1954a). In the other two, he focused on Florida Indian history, evaluating in the process the reliability of native oral history and emphasizing the importance of taking into account Indian perspectives on their own history (Sturtevant, 1953, 1955a). He also prepared a paper that reviewed the ethnohistorical and ethnographic evidence for cultural connections between the Indians of south Florida and of the Antilles, which he presented in December 1954 at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association. This paper was a companion piece to a presentation by Rouse and supported Rouse's view, based on archaeological evidence, that the influence of Caribbean cultures on those of Florida had been negligible.
By 1954 Sturtevant's research, publications, and participation in professional meetings had marked his transition from graduate student to professional anthropologist. This status was further confirmed in March 1954, when he submitted a statement to the United States Congress opposing a so-called withdrawal bill, which would have terminated federal supervision of the Florida Seminoles (Sturtevant, 1954c). Nearly all the Florida Seminoles also opposed the bill, and Congress did not pursue its passage. In the same year, he was hired by Yale University as an instructor in the Department of Anthropology and as an assistant curator of anthropology in the Yale Peabody Museum.
In 1956, when Yale did not renew his contract, Sturtevant began looking for a permanent position elsewhere. He received two offers. One was from Brown University, to establish a department of anthropology and to direct the newly created Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. The other was from the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE), to serve as an ethnologist in the position vacated by Philip Drucker, who left the BAE and anthropology in 1955 to become a rancher in Mexico (Stirling, 1957:5; Lantis, 1991).
William Fenton, who had left the BAE a few years earlier to take a job at the National Research Council, strongly encouraged Matthew Stirling to consider Sturtevant for the position. Stirling had directed the BAE for three decades, but despite his own energetic research program, he had failed to prevent the unit's steady decline. By 1956 its permanent research staff consisted only of Stirling and two other archaeologists, Frank Roberts and Henry Collins. Despite these problems, the BAE position was in many ways a "dream" job. Sturtevant found it more attractive than the position at Brown because it offered greater freedom and time for research and because it housed an incomparable library and archives of photographs and manuscripts on North American Indian subjects. Also, together with the staff and collections of the Anthropology Department of the United States National Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, it continued to be a major center of North American Indian studies.
The offer from Brown was the first of several from universities including the University of Arizona and the Berkeley and San Diego campuses of the University of California that Sturtevant received, and declined, over the next decade. In retrospect, he feels that his decision to remain at the Smithsonian throughout his career was the correct one, but in a conversation of June 1996, he expressed to me some regrets:
I still think that one keeps up better and tends to be broader if one is teaching, for one is then forced to keep up with changes in the field. And I sometimes thought that if I had been teaching I would have sent people to do fieldwork in the Southeast and maybe there would have been more ethnographic fieldwork done in the Southeast than there has been.
Sturtevant officially joined the staff of the BAE on 29 March 1956 (Stirling, 1957:22), but he did not actually begin working in Washington, D.C., until the following summer. His principal responsibility, like that of the other members of the research staff of the BAE, was research and writing. The BAE had no material culture collections, so its staff had no curatorial duties, but they were expected to respond to the numerous requests for information on American Indians received every year from various organizations and especially those from the general public, a function that the BAE had fulfilled throughout its existence (Hinsley, 1981). To respond efficiently to these requests, the staff of the BAE had prepared over the years a series of bibliographies and information leaflets, to which Sturtevant was expected to contribute. Between 1956 and 1962 he compiled bibliographies on diverse topics: the Seminole and other Indians of eastern North America, the Cherokee language, maps related to American Indians, the contemporary situation of Indians in the United States, American Indian songs and dances, basketry, wars and warfare, clothing, medicine and health, and languages and language families. He also prepared a leaflet entitled "Anthropology as a Career" (Sturtevant, 1957). Regarded at the time as the best portrayal of the discipline for nonspecialists, the leaflet was distributed widely and was included in a major collection of readings in anthropology (Fried, 1959, 1:6-14, 2:581-587).
Producing these materials broadened his already extensive knowledge of North American Indian ethnology, linguistics, and history. He further expanded this knowledge through reading, research in museum and archival collections, field research, and short visits to Indian communities in various parts of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In July 1957 he traveled to Rock Hill, South Carolina, to collect linguistic data from Sam Blue, the last member of the Catawba tribe to have maintained some competency in the Catawba language. While there, he made a small collection of Catawba pottery for the United States National Museum. In 1957 and 1958 he spent seven weeks continuing his research among the New York Seneca, and in 1959 he returned for a few months to Florida to follow up on his previous fieldwork, focusing especially on Seminole ethnobotany. He also collected ethnographic materials, especially objects made for the tourist market, which he deposited in the United States National Museum. In July and August of the following year, he visited 17 European museums to examine early ethnographic examples and possible European prototypes of eastern North American Indian material culture, research that complemented his growing familiarity with museum collections in the United States. In the summers of 1961 and 1962, he conducted five weeks of basic ethnographic fieldwork among the Seneca-Cayuga in Oklahoma and paid a short visit to the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada, during October of the latter year to attend a ceremony and to do a bit a fieldwork among the Seneca and Cayuga there. He also continued to participate regularly in conferences on Iroquois history and culture and, in 1964, joined Stanley Diamond and Fenton in preparing a memorandum to the Subcommittee on Indian Affairs of the United States House of Representatives, protesting the construction of the Kinzua Dam, which later flooded a large part of the Allegany Reservation and forced the relocation of many Seneca people living there (Diamond, et al., 1964).
Sturtevant combined this active research program with a number of writing projects. In fact, his nearly nine years at the BAE proved to be one of the most productive periods of his career. He continued writing up the results of his Seminole research and prepared several articles on Seminole history, mythology, ritual, and material culture (Sturtevant, 1955a, 1956a, 1956b, 1956c, 1962a, 1963b, 1967f) as well as a biographical essay on Billie, which appeared in a collection of 20 portraits of anthropological informants (Sturtevant, 1960c). He also offered a detailed assessment of the state of ethnological research in Florida (Sturtevant, 1958a) and, with Goggin, analyzed diverse archaeological and historical data to reconstruct the culture and society of the Calusa, one of the principal Indian societies in southern Florida at the time of Spanish contact, and one of the few stratified, nonagricultural societies in all of North America (Goggin and Sturtevant, 1964). He applied his growing knowledge of Caribbean history and ethnology to analyze the precontact agricultural system of the Taino Indians of the Greater Antilles and to expand his unpublished 1954 paper on the lack of influence of Antillean cultures on the cultures of the Indians of the southeastern United States (Sturtevant, 1 960d, 196 lb).
The expanded study appeared in 1960, in a collection of essays on the Caribbean compiled by Sidney Mintz and dedicated to Cornelius Osgood, Sturtevant's former professor at Yale (Sturtevant, 1 960d). In it Sturtevant pointed out that ethnological traits taken as evidence of a direct connection between the Antilles and the Southeast often were widely distributed in the circum-Caribbean and adjacent regions, and that in some cases, their presence in the Antilles was assumed rather than actually documented in the historical and ethnographic record. Moreover, the relatively shallow time depth of this record precluded arriving at any definitive conclusions about the direction of influence among neighboring societies, which could be determined only within a broader chronological framework, typically derived from archaeological research. In the case at hand, the available archaeological data indicated that the only Southeastern Indians who interacted with Antillean societies were those located in south Florida, and that the influence between them had flowed primarily from Florida to the Antilles rather than the reverse. This essay thus offered a systematic critique of the use of culture-trait distributions based on data gleaned from historical and ethnological sources alone to reconstruct New World culture history and was an important contribution to the methodology of cultural historical research in general. Completing this research project also reinforced Sturtevant's view, which he shared with Goggin and many other anthropologists at the time, that archaeology and ethnology are best regarded not as totally separate subfields of anthropology but rather as complementary endeavors within cultural anthropology (Sturtevant, 1964b:389).
His writing during this period was not restricted to Florida and the Caribbean. His growing reputation as a North Americanist resulted in invitations to prepare entries on the Haida, Huron, and Ales Hrdliáka for the Encyclopedia Hebraica and on the Creek, the Five Civilized Tribes, and the Seminole for the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Sturtevant, 1960a, 1960b, 196la, 1963a, 1964a, 1964d). He also produced a detailed overview of Spanish-Indian relations in the Southeast (Sturtevant, 1 962b) and wrote brief articles on Carolina Indians in the early historic period, on American Indian linguistics, and on field methods (Sturtevant, 1958b, 1959, 1960e, 1965b). In 1959 David Quinn invited him, on the recommendation of Wilcomb Washburn, to analyze the ethnographic content of the John White watercolors of coastal North Carolina Indians, which Sturtevant (1976:443-444) later characterized as "perhaps the most interesting and important sixteenth-century illustrations of Indians from both an ethnographic and artistic point of view." His work on these watercolors and on early illustrations of Northeastern Indians, published between 1964 and 1967, marked the beginning of what would become a central focus of his research in the following decades (Sturtevant, 1964c, 1965a, 1967a).
It was also during this period that he wrote "Studies in Ethnoscience," the article that has proven to be his most controversial to date (Sturtevant, 1964e). He presented the original version of this article at a conference on "Transcultural Studies in Cognition," sponsored by the Social Science Research Council and held in Mérida, Mexico, in the spring of 1963. Although Sturtevant had not applied a strict ethnoscientific approach in his own research, he was an appropriate choice to provide an overview of ethnoscience. Many of the ideas that formed the basis of this approach had emerged out of conversations among Conklin, Frake, Lounsbury, and Sturtevant while they were together at Yale in the 1950s, and Conklin and Frake had presented their views of ethnoscience in a lecture series that Sturtevant co-organized for the Anthropological Society of Washington in 1960 to 1961 (Conklin, 1962; Frake, 1962). Yet it was somewhat happenstance that Sturtevant wrote the article. He believes that Conklin-one of the earliest practitioners of ethnoscience and the person who, in Sturtevant's opinion, was most instrumental in the development of its methodology would have been invited to prepare the presentation for the conference had he not been conducting fieldwork in the Philippines at the time.
Sturtevant's goal in writing the article was not to provide a history of the development of ethnoscience but to present, explicitly and systematically, its perspectives and goals, explore its fundamental theoretical and methodological principles, review how these principles had been applied in specific research projects, and suggest areas where an ethnoscientific approach might be profitably employed in future research. He defined ethnoscience as a general approach to ethnography focused on discovering and describing the conceptual models that the members of different societies employ to organize their experiences and to orient their activities in the world. Although he recognized that this focus continued a long tradition in anthropology of emphasizing the importance of understanding native points of view, he noted that most ethnographic work failed to explore native perspectives exhaustively and tended to distort them by forcing them into general categories, like religion or kinship, which were mistakenly assumed to exist in more or less equivalent form in all human societies. In this regard, he commented, "It has long been evident that a major weakness in anthropology is the underdeveloped condition of ethnographic method. Typologies and generalizations abound, but their descriptive foundations are insecure~~ (Sturtevant, 1964e: 100).
From Sturtevant's perspective, ethnoscience offered the rigorous methodology that would enable ethnographers to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the conceptual models of other societies and would allow a comparative anthropology to move forward on a firmer empirical footing. He referred to these conceptual models as "classifications," in the broad sense of being orderings of experience, and argued that the ethnoscientific approach could be adopted to explore any cultural domain, regardless of the degree to which it was structured by more specific classificatory principles, like taxonomic inclusion, or the extent to which its contents were explicitly labeled in the native language. At the same time, he noted that ethnoscientific research conducted to date had concentrated on taxonomic classification and that the analysis of terminological systems had provided the principal avenue for gaining access to native perspectives.
Despite anthropology's lip service to the importance of learning native languages, few ethnographers gained more than a basic competency in the languages of the people with whom they worked. Ethnoscientists insisted, quite logically, that an understanding of native perspectives was possible only if ethnographers acquired a solid command of native languages. They also emphasized the importance of collecting information in the normal contexts of everyday life and of following procedures that approximated local cultural approaches to gaining knowledge. By making these procedures explicit, they hoped that the results of one ethnographer's research could be checked in the future by others.
The publication of "Studies in Ethnoscience" in 1964 stimulated considerable interest in the approach but also generated sharp criticism. In a general review, Marvin Harris (1968: 568-604) faulted ethnoscience, as well as most other approaches in anthropology, for privileging native perspectives over those of outside observers and for perpetuating mentalist perspectives at the expense of more materialist ones. Because of its emphasis on native terminologies and its adaptation of some methods and concepts originally developed in descriptive linguistics, he and others dismissed ethnoscience as a misguided attempt to reduce culture to language and to impose linguistic models on largely nonlinguistic cultural phenomena (Berreman, 1966; Keesing, 1972). Another common critique was that the results of ethnoscientific research were "trivial," or as Harris (1968:592) expressed it, "the net contribution to substantive theory is less than what usually results from equivalent labor in-puts."
FIGURE 4.-William Sturtevant in his Bureau of American Ethnology office in the Smithsonian Castle, Room 406, January 1965. Photograph by Stewart Brand.
Nonetheless, the methods and perspectives of ethnoscience were widely embraced by anthropologists in the 1960s and 1970s and have endured in several research specialities, such as ethnobiology and cognitive science. The impact of the standards for ethnographic research established by its early practitioners is also evident, although seldom acknowledged, in much of contemporary ethnography. For his part, Sturtevant considered most of the critiques of ethnoscience to be wrongheaded, being based on misunderstandings of its aims and underlying principles, but he never responded in print to any of them. By the time they appeared, he was heavily involved in other, mainly ethnohistorical, research projects and had already anticipated and addressed many of the critiques in his essay. For example, he had no illusions about the amount of time and resources required to implement the ethnoscientific approach in ethnography, commenting,
"Ethnoscience raises the standards of reliability, validity, and exhaustiveness in ethnography. One result is that the ideal goal of a complete ethnography is farther removed from practical attainment. The full ethnoscientific description of a single culture would require many thousands of pages published after many years of intensive field work based on ethnographic methods more complete and more advanced than are now available." (Sturtevant, 1964e:123)
Ethnographic research could proceed more rapidly only by lowering the standards of good ethnography or by underestimating or ignoring the vast complexity of human cultures. Sturtevant regarded both alternatives as untenable if anthropology's expressed commitment to understanding humanity was to be taken seriously.
In 1962 Sturtevant began planning a year-long research project in Burma to complete an ethnoscientific analysis of clothing in the Pegu District northeast of Rangoon. He intended the project to provide a counterpoint to his research on Seminole clothing as well as an opportunity to develop ethnographic methodology within the framework of ethnoscience. Burma was an appropriate place to conduct the project because it was one of the few countries in the world whose citizens had not adopted European-style clothing, but his decision to focus his project there was motivated primarily by his wife's desire to visit her family and to have their children learn about her country. She had not returned to Burma since the summer of 1955, when she introduced her husband and their infant daughter, Kinthi (born in 1954), to her family. In the interim, they had had two more children-Reed, born in 1956, and Alfred, born in 1958-and the country had undergone a number of radical political changes. The army had taken over the government in 1962 and was in the process of transforming Burma, which they renamed Myanmar in 1989, into a pseudosocialist state.
In 1963 Sturtevant received a grant from the National Science Foundation to undertake the project and secured permission from the BAE to take a one-year leave of absence. In May of that year, his close friend and mentor John Goggin died after an eight-month-long illness with cancer. Sturtevant (1964b) prepared an obituary, which was published in the American Anthropologist the following year. Earlier, realizing that Goggin's illness was terminal, he had joined Charles Fairbanks and Rouse to organize a collection of Goggin's writings, also published in 1964 (Fairbanks et al., 1964).
On 4 October 1963, the Sturtevant family left Washington, D.C., arriving in Rangoon on 24 October. On the surface the country seemed little changed from their 1955 visit, but the new political climate made fieldwork impossible. Sturtevant was unable to get permission from the Burmese government to spend any significant amount of time outside the capital, and government officials, infused with antiforeigner sentiment, were suspicious of him and kept close tabs on his movements and on the people with whom he associated. He was tempted to try to work in the Pegu District without official approval, but he feared that the government would revoke his visa, thereby cutting short their visit, or that it would take reprisals against his wife's relatives, whose political situation was already tenuous. Her father, Dr. Ba Maw, had served between 1937 and 1939 as Burma's first premier after the British established Burma as a colony separate from India and had also served as Burma's head of state between 1943 and 1945, during the Japanese occupation. Although Maw did not support the 1962 military coup, he had not yet been identified by the government as an enemy. His was one of the few politically prominent families in Burma whose members did not form part of the military government and had not yet been jailed.
Despite these difficulties, Sturtevant was able to visit neighborhoods in Rangoon and villages in the surrounding countryside, examine photographs in several archives, study the Burmese language, and read extensively about the country's history and culture. He also became quite interested in Burmese drama and began attending performances, especially of the Indian epic Ramayana, but he felt that he lacked the requisite language skills and background knowledge to make these performances the focus of his research. In the process, he assembled extensive notes on Burmese clothing and many other aspects of the culture, took hundreds of photographs, and made a large collection, 386 objects in all, of clothing and other objects for the Smithsonian.
He also had the opportunity, in 1964, to visit Inle Lake in the Southern Shan States southeast of Mandalay, where he examined local approaches to artificial island agriculture. Agricultural systems had been an important focus of his work in Florida and the Caribbean, and he had observed another example of this unusual approach to agriculture in which earth is moved to water rather than the opposite-during a brief visit in 1960 to the "floating gardens" of Xochimilco, in the suburbs of Mexico City. In 1968 he collected data on a similar system in Kashmir, and he presented a paper on the topic that year at the Eighth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, held in Tokyo and Kyoto (Sturtevant, 1970). This research established that artificial island agriculture emerged independently in different parts of the world and lent support to the conclusion that early Spanish observations of this form of agriculture in the Valley of Mexico had been accurate.
About five months after arriving in Burma, Sturtevant was shocked to learn that the BAE had become the focus of a reorganizational plan being developed by S. Dillon Ripley, who on 1 February 1964 assumed the duties of Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Ripley was concerned by the general state of anthropology at the Institution and was being drawn to the conclusion that merging the BAE and the Department of Anthropology would make for a stronger program. The department in various organizational guises had formed part of the Smithsonian since the Institution's founding in 1846. (7) Its staff was responsible for curating the institution's anthropological collections, predominantly from North America but including important materials from other parts of the world. The BAE was created in 1879 as a separate research bureau focused on North America. Over the years, the two units developed a cooperative relationship-among other things, the department curated the enormous collections amassed by the BAE's researchers but in recent decades the department had been able to increase its research staff and budget, whereas those of the BAE had declined. By 1964 Stirling had retired from the BAE, and Roberts retired in the spring of that year. Its research staff then consisted only of Sturtevant, Collins, and Robert Laughlin, who had been hired in 1962.
To determine the future of anthropology at the Institution, Ripley consulted with anthropologists in the BAE, in the department, and outside the Smithsonian. In a series of letters written from Rangoon, Sturtevant provided Ripley with his perspective on what he believed should happen. He argued that the BAE should remain an independent research unit, but that it should be transformed into "a bureau of ethnology in the modern sense" by increasing its staff to include 10 to 15 research positions and expanding its focus from the Americas to the entire world.(8) Ripley was not unsympathetic to Sturtevant's vision, but he believed that the interests of anthropology would be better served by merging the BAE and the department into a new unit that could then serve as the foundation for a separate museum of anthropology.
The BAE was officially abolished on 1 February 1965, and its staff, library, and archives were subsequently moved from the Smithsonian Institution building (the Castle) across the National Mall to the Department of Anthropology's recently expanded space in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). The new unit created by the merger of the BAE and the Department of Anthropology was named the Smithsonian Office of Anthropology (SOA). Its position within the organizational structure of the NMNH was higher than that of the other departments in the museum but was lower than that formerly held by the BAE, which had been an independent bureau within the institution.
Waldo Wedel, a senior scientist in the museum who specialized in Plains archaeology, was named the first chairman of the SOA, but he was soon replaced by Richard Woodbury, a southwestern archaeologist. A few months later, Secretary Ripley decided that the SOA needed additional, more dynamic leadership and invited Sol Tax to become its head, apparently on the recommendation of Collins. Ripley believed that Tax-a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago and a major figure in international anthropology at the time would transform the SOA into one of the most important centers of anthropology in the world (Tax, 1988; Stanley, 1996). Tax was intrigued by the possibilities, but he did not want to resign his position at the University of Chicago, so Ripley asked him to spend a few days each month at the institution as a special advisor for anthropology. Tax accepted this revised offer and began familiarizing himself with the Smithsonian's anthropology program and developing ideas for the future of the new unit.
Tax was immediately concerned that the research staff of the SOA had failed to develop programs that went beyond their personal research projects. He asked them to prepare descriptions of their work and to offer their perspectives on new programs that could be developed, organizing a meeting in late January 1966 to discuss their ideas. Among the alternatives considered was the proposal that a new edition of the two-volume Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, originally published by the BAE in the first decade of the twentieth century, would be appropriate. Everyone supported the idea, and a second meeting was held a short time later to decide on the general format of the new Handbook of North American Indians and to determine who would be in charge. A few of the curators felt that a dictionary format like that of the original Handbook would be best. Sturtevant proposed instead that a more ambitious, multivolume collection of detailed essays would be more useful, on the lines of the Handbook of South American Indians published by the BAE between 1946 and 1959 and the Handbook of Middle American Indians then in preparation at Tulane University. The majority of the curators concurred with Sturtevant's position, and he volunteered, and was designated, to coordinate the project.
Sturtevant was attracted by the prospect of becoming general editor of the new Handbook for several reasons. No comprehensive, scholarly overview of American Indians was then available except for the original Handbook, which was badly out of date. A new Handbook would make available to a broad audience the significant advances in knowledge about North American Indians that had been accomplished during the previous 60 years. He was also becoming concerned that his inclination to pursue somewhat disparate research topics and to focus on rather specific issues would preclude his ever producing a major synthesis of North American ethnology. He believed that organizing the new Handbook would provide him the opportunity to make a major contribution to the field.
With characteristic energy and enthusiasm, Tax began elaborating his vision of a new Smithsonian anthropology, but he soon encountered difficulties. Because he was reluctant to leave Chicago for more than a few days at a time, Tax could not maintain contact with the Smithsonian staff at the level required to implement his plans, even after the Smithsonian hired his former student Samuel Stanley to keep Tax informed and to coordinate the programs on a daily basis. A more serious problem was the lack of support for and, in some cases, opposition to his plans on the part of several members of the SOA research staff. Some were concerned that Tax's ambitious vision ignored the basic responsibilities of the staff to the museum's collections and that its implementation would overwhelm the staff with new duties. Others resented Tax's attempts to direct the activities of the SOA from a distance or feared that his plans would have a detrimental impact on their personal research programs.
By November 1967 Tax was convinced that this opposition would preclude moving ahead with his plans for the SOA, and he proposed to Secretary Ripley that the new programs that he and a few members of the SOA were developing should be organized within a distinct unit. An outside committee, appointed to review the status of the SOA in January 1967, concurred with Tax's suggestion, and on 1 July 1968-just three years and six months after he abolished the BAE-Secretary Ripley created the Center for the Study of Man, with Tax as its acting director and Stanley as its program coordinator. Three months later, the Smithsonian Office of Anthropology was demoted to the status of a department. Sturtevant and other members of the SQA who supported Tax's plans were invited to join the Center along with a few other people from within the Institution and several leading scholars from the international anthropological community. The Handbook of North American Indians project was also designated as one of the Center's programs.
FIGURE 5-The staffs of the Bureau of American Ethnology and the River Basin Survey (RBS) at the time of the BAEs merger with the Department of Anthropology, on the steps of the NMNH, September 1965 (left to right): Front row: Matthew W. Stirling (director, retired), Jessie Shaw (administrative assistant), Carl Miller (RBS), Florence Morgan (secretary); center row: Evelyn S. Anderson (secretary), Robert L. Stephenson (RBS), Robert M. Laughlin (ethnologist), Karlena Glemser (secretary), Henry B. Collins (archaeologist); back row: William C. Sturtevant (ethnologist), Edward G. Schumacher (illustrator), Harold A. Huscher (RBS), Margaret C. Blaker (archivist), Rachel Penner (archival assistant). Missing: Frank H.H. Roberts, Jr. (archaeologist, retired). Courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution (neg. no. 1530B).
Before the merger of the BAE and the Department of Anthropology, Sturtevant regularly joined members of the department's staff for lunch and regarded many as his friends. The merger, however, generated conflicts, especially between him and Clifford Evans, a Latin Americanist archaeologist who had been one of its more active proponents. Sturtevant resented Evans's role in bringing about the demise of the BAE and his tendency to resort to heavy-handed and, from Sturtevant's perspective, underhanded tactics in departmental and institutional affairs. For his part, Evans considered Sturtevant's opposition to many of his plans to be unreasonable and was frustrated by his inability to neutralize this opposition or to convert Sturtevant into an ally. In contrast, they seldom disagreed on intellectual matters, the main exception being Evans's view that New World culture history had been significantly affected by trans-Pacific contacts, which Sturtevant rejected for both methodological and factual reasons.
Sturtevant was not the only member of the department who opposed Evans, but Evans also had his allies. By 1969, two factions had emerged, known among the staff as "the Sturtevant faction" and "the Evans faction."9 In October of that year, Richard Cowan, director of the NMNH, asked the research staff to provide him with names of possible candidates for the chairmanship of the department. The supervisors of the four research divisions of the department responded:
"We are convinced that the factions in this department are so firmly established, so polarized, and so pervasive, that there is no member of the staff who is sufficiently neutral (or likely to remain so if appointed) to serve effectively as departmental chairman.... The only permanent solution to this dilemma, we believe, will come with the establishment of a Museum of Man with a new Director (from outside) with a strong mandate and several additional positions to dilute the existing factions and radically change the administrative, social, and personal environment which has thus far supported the factions." (10)
Given this situation, most staff members were surprised and several were appalled when Cowan appointed Evans as chairman, first on a one-year trial basis in 1970 and then for an additional four years, starting in 1971. His appointment escalated the conflicts, and the associated factionalism dominated departmental affairs throughout the 1970s, lingering on even after Evans's death in 1980. William Fitzhugh, who succeeded Evans as chairman of the department in 1975, worked hard to improve relations within the department, as did Douglas Ubelaker, who succeeded Fitzhugh in 1980. Their efforts were facilitated by the hiring of several new curators in the late 1970s and early 1980s to replace curators who had retired, and by the mid- 1 980s the factionalism had disappeared entirely.
When Sturtevant was transferred from the BAE to the Department of Anthropology, he assumed curatorial responsibility for all of the North American ethnology collections. The other North Americanist ethnologist in the department was John C. Ewers, a noted Plains specialist hired by the department in 1946. In the 1950s, Ewers had been responsible for renovating the American Indian exhibition halls in the United States National Museum, and in the 1950s and early 1960s, he had played a major role in creating the National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History) (Ewers, 1956, 1959). In recognition of this service to the institution, he had been given a largely research position, with the title of "senior scientist." Sturtevant and the other curators tried to shield him from day-to-day curatorial concerns, consulting with him only on issues about which he had special expertise or which they believed would be of interest to him.
Although Sturtevant had never intended to be a museum curator, he was not averse to becoming one. He had long maintained an interest in material culture, had conducted considerable research in museums, and had taught a course and prepared a bibliography on the subject when he was an instructor and assistant curator at Yale (Sturtevant, 1955b). He had deposited ethnographic and archaeological collections from the United States, Mexico, and Guam at the Yale Peabody Museum. He also made large ethnographic collections for the Smithsonian from the Seminole and from Burma as well as smaller collections of Catawba pottery and Tarascan laquerware, the latter collected during a brief visit to Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico, in January 1960. In the 1950s he had worked with Ewers in planning the Seminole case for the museum's North American Indian exhibition halls, and in subsequent years he served as a consultant on a number of large exhibitions at the Smithsonian and other museums.
In his new position, Sturtevant emerged as a major advocate for the view that museums had an important role to play in the anthropological enterprise. In two articles (Sturtevant, I 969a, 1973) he explored, within the framework of the history of anthropology museums and material culture research, what this role should be, and he prepared a "Guide to Field Collecting of Ethnographic Specimens," which he hoped would "improve the quality and research usefulness of collections of ethnographic materials" (Sturtevant, 1 967d: 1). Beginning in 1964, he was a member of the American Anthropological Association's Committee on Anthropological Research in Museums, which was supported from 1965 to 1974 by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. On 25 February 1970, Sturtevant and some other committee members wrote to Nelson Rockefeller, then governor of New York, and to the regents of the University of the State of New York explaining why wampum belts currently housed in the New York State Museum in Albany should not be returned to the Onondaga who had requested them. Because they represented themselves as a committee of the American Anthropological Association but failed to clear their statement with the Association's executive board, in 1971 the Association severed its connection to the committee. The following year, the American Ethnological Society decided to sponsor the committee, which continued to enjoy the support of Wenner-Gren. In 1974 the committee evolved into the Council for Museum Anthropology (Freed et al., 1977). Sturtevant was the council's first vice president, serving two terms between 1974 and 1978, and was its president from 1978 to 1981.
Immediately after Sturtevant was officially designated as the editor of the new Handbook of North American Indians, in 1966, he and Stanley began preliminary planning, developing a general outline of its contents, preparing lists of potential contributors, analyzing the coverage of the old Handbook, and working out budgetary and personnel requirements for the new Handbook and its staff. More detailed planning of the Handbook, however, did not get underway until 1969. Between 1965 and 1969 Sturtevant wrote several articles on Indian agriculture (Sturtevant, 1965b, 1965d, 1969b), and, with Stanley, compiled an overview of contemporary Indian communities in the eastern United States (Sturtevant and Stanley, 1968). He also prepared entries for the Encyclopaedia Britannica on "mutilations and deformations," "tattooing," and "scalping," which summarized ethnographic and historical information on these practices from around the world (Sturtevant, 1965c, 1965e, 1967e). The entry on tattooing provided the point of departure for a more extensive overview of the subject (Sturtevant, 197lc). and later he expanded his entry on scalping into a full-length essay, prepared in collaboration with James Axtell, which convincingly refuted the idea that scalping had been introduced to the New World by Europeans (Axtell and Sturtevant, 1980).
During this period, Sturtevant produced one of his most important studies of Seminole material culture. Presented in 1966 at the annual meeting of the American Ethnological Society and published the following year, this study focused on Florida Seminole men's clothing to trace the evolution of their clothing styles during the period of their greatest isolation, from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. Although Sturtevant (1967f:l60) characterized the paper as giving "the preliminary results of a larger study," it is a mature work, the culmination of over 15 years of field, museum, archival, and library research, in which he had collected information on all major and most minor museum collections of Seminole artifacts, compiled a corpus of over 1000 illustrations of the Seminoles from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, and consulted extensively with Seminole people on the interpretation of these materials. In addition to providing a chronological typology of certain elements of this clothing and detailed information on their construction, he examined their relationship to the material culture of both Europe and other areas of North America and their role as identity markers among the Seminoles and other North American Indians. He indicated that the Florida Seminoles employed a "reconstructed older-style Seminole costume" (Sturtevant, 1 967f: 173), sometimes mixed with modem-style clothing, to distinguish themselves from both non-Indians and other Indians alike, but that Indians in other parts of the United States, both Seminoles and non-Seminoles, had adopted some of these same items to mark a generalized, pan-Indian identity. He also demonstrated how certain methods associated with ethnoscience in this case, native classifications and componential analysis-could be profitably applied to the study of material culture.
In addition to his research and writing, Sturtevant became increasingly involved in the activities of several professional organizations. He had begun participating as an officer in such organizations in the previous decade, soon after he was hired by the BAE. In 1957 he began a three-year term on the board of governors of the Anthropological Society of Washington, and from 1959 to 1960 he was a member of the executive committee of the Florida Anthropological Society. In the latter year, he joined Thomas Gladwin of the National Institute of Mental Health to organize the annual lecture series of the Anthropological Society of Washington, for which they invited nine speakers from anthropology, linguistics, and psychology "to take a critical look at a variety of strategies available for the study of human behavior in a cultural context" (Gladwin and Sturtevant, 1962:vii). The essays were published in a volume titled Anthropology and Human Behavior (Gladwin and Sturtevant, 1962). From 1962 until 1968 he worked as the book-review editor and associate editor of the American Anthropologist, and in 1969 he began serving on the American Anthropological Association's Committee on Archives. His membership on this committee was especially appropriate, not only because of his commitment to consulting archival materials in his own research but because he had been instrumental in establishing the National Anthropological Archives created through the merger of the archives of the BAE and the Department of Anthropology as a major repository of anthropological materials from around the world."
He also devoted considerable time to the development of the American Society for Ethnohistory, serving on its executive committee in 1959 and as its president between 1965 and 1966. This society began as the Ohio Valley Historic Indian Conference, and then, around 1958, changed its name to the American Indian Ethnohistoric (later "Ethnohistorical") Conference. In 1966 Sturtevant convinced the majority of the members that the society should have a global rather than a strictly North American focus and that its name should be the "American Society for Ethnohistory" rather than the "Society for American Ethnohistory," which many preferred. At the same time, he explored ethnohistory as an intellectual endeavor, providing in his essay "Anthropology, History, and Ethnohistory'~ (Sturtevant, 1967b) a definitive analysis of the relationship between history and anthropology and of the relevance of historical data and methods to anthropological research.
In June 1967 Sturtevant briefly visited the Seminoles in Florida. The following month he and his family left Washington, D.C., for England where he spent a year, at Rodney Needham's invitation, as a Fulbright scholar and lecturer at Oxford University's Institute of Social Anthropology. He returned to the United States in September 1968, traveling first to Germany to attend the International Congress of Americanists, then to Kashmir to collect data on artificial island agriculture, and on to Japan to present a paper on the topic (Sturtevant, 1970).
After settling back in Washington, he became active in the anti-Vietnam war effort, signing petitions, attending demonstrations, and supporting anti-war motions at the business meetings of the American Anthropological Association. He also helped draft an advertisement, published in 1968 in the American Anthropologist (70:1311-13 17) and signed by over 800 members of the association, protesting an advertisement from the United States Navy for anthropologists to participate in psychological warfare in Vietnam, which had been published in the same journal two issues earlier.
During this period, Sturtevant began devoting increasing amounts of his time to planning the new Handbook. Faced with the size of this task and the pressures of a number of unfulfilled writing commitments, he found it difficult to accomplish anything. He discussed the problem with Tax, who recommended that he "wipe the slate clean" by canceling all his commitments except the Handbook. He followed Tax's advice and soon was able to move ahead on his various projects.
By 1970 Sturtevant had established, after extensive consultation with a number of North Americanists from the United States, Canada, and Europe, that the Handbook would be organized into 20 volumes. Eleven of these volumes would focus on specific North American culture areas, whereas seven would explore general topics from a pan-North American perspective. The remaining two volumes would be devoted to an introduction and index of the entire collection. Editors and planning committees were selected for each volume, and an editorial staff was organized within the Center for the Study of Man. In November 1970 a general planning meeting for the Handbook was held in Chicago, and planning for each volume continued into 1971.
FIGURE 6. William Sturtevant collecting botanical specimens on a floating agricultural island at Dal Lake, Kashmir, 1968. Photograph by Manmohan Durani.
Manuscripts began arriving at the Handbook office in December 1971, and by the end of the following year they filled several file cabinets. Sturtevant expected the contributions to be accurate and up-to-date, and he insisted that they be accompanied by detailed bibliographies and well-researched photographs, line drawings, and maps. He gave each manuscript a close reading, preparing detailed comments for authors and often filling in gaps and checking the accuracy of information himself. If the original authors were unable to complete their manuscripts, he worked with the volume editors to find alternates. When a manuscript was revised, he read it again, and a third time when it was in galley proofs. A tremendous amount of work was involved, but his meticulous editing and insistence that the contributions conform to his high standards ensured the quality of the volumes.
Despite his Handbook duties, Sturtevant continued to be active in professional organizations, especially the American Anthropological Association, the Council for Museum Anthropology, the Anthropological Society of Washington, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Ethnological Society. In 1977, he became president of the American Ethnological Society, for which he prepared a new constitution and set of by-laws. In 1992 he was elected president of the Anthropological Society of Washington. Between 1976 and 1982 he served three terms on the board of trustees of the Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation and was appointed to a fourth term between 1984 and 1986. During his tenure, he worked with the other board members to resolve the serious fiscal and management crises that confronted the museum and helped to convince them to appoint Vine Deloria and George Abrams as trustees, the first American Indians to serve in the capacity. (12)
He also began to increase his interaction with students. He served as the principal advisor to a number of Smithsonian pre and postdoctoral fellows and summer interns and as a member of several thesis committees. In 1974 he accepted an appointment as an adjunct professor in the newly created Department of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University, a position he held until 1989. There he offered courses on American Indians, linguistics, and technology and material culture as well as on less traditional topics, which he labeled "graphic systems," "pictorial ethnohistory," and "social archaeology." He also joined Sidney Mintz to teach a course on the anthropology of food and eating.
His involvement in these activities left him little time to devote to his personal research. Nevertheless, he maintained a prodigious level of writing and even was able to visit briefly, in 1975 and 1977, Seminole Maroon communities in northern Mexico and the Bahamas. Among the impressive number of publications that he produced during this period are several articles on Southeastern ethnography, history, material culture, and ethnobotany (Sturtevant, 197 lb, 1978a, 1979a, 1979b, 1979c, 1979d); a synthesis of early Seminole history (Sturtevant, 1971a); an overview of the hole-and-slot heddle in the New World (Sturtevant, 1977c); a chapter on the Seneca-Cayuga of Oklahoma for the Northeast volume of the Handbook (Sturtevant, 1 978b); and essays reporting the results of his extensive research on early European representations of American Indians (Sturtevant, 1975, 1976, 1977a, 1977b, 1978c, 1979b, 1980b, 198 lb, 198 ld, 1982). He also edited a collection of essays for the catalog of a Smithsonian exhibition on Northwest Coast material culture (Sturtevant, editor, 1974) and, with Jerald Milanich, edited a seventeenth century Franciscan confessional that included some of the most detailed ethnographic and linguistic information available on the extinct Timucua Indians of northern Florida (Milanich and Sturtevant, 1973). Because of his now well-established reputation as one of the leading North Americanists in the world, he was invited to supervise the preparation of general ethnographic and linguistic maps of North America for the National Atlas, the National Geographic, and the Times At/as of World History (Sturtevant, 1967c; Sturtevant, consultant, 1972; Sturtevant et al., 1978). He also served as the principal consultant and author of the chapter on the Indians of eastern North America for a popular volume on North American Indians published in 1974 by the National Geographic Society (Billard, 1974; Sturtevant, 1974).
In 1976 Sturtevant's work on the Handbook began to be shared by Ives Goddard, hired that year as a curator by the Department of Anthropology. Goddard had served as the linguistic editor of the Handbook since 1970, responsible for evaluating the information on American Indian languages submitted by authors and for coordinating consultations with other linguists on these materials. After 1976, in addition to his work preparing linguistic sections for the Handbook, he increasingly fulfilled other duties related to the general management of the project.
The first volume of the Handbook volume 8, California, for which Robert F. lleizer served as the volume editor appeared in 1978 and immediately received rave reviews. The comments of Claude Levi-Strauss are representative:
"Here is the first product of a monumental enterprise in gestation for more than ten years under the general direction of W. C. Sturtevant, who brings to the project his organizational talent, his immense erudition, and one appreciates this on reading the pages where he introduces the whole project the bold inventiveness and originality that characterizes it.... It is hardly necessary to add that the new Handbook of North American Indians promises to be what it already is for the Califomia area: an absolutely indispensable tool that should be found on the shelves of all libraries, public and private alike." (Levi-Strauss, 1979: 7779) (13)
The original production schedule for the Handbook of North American Indians envisioned that all 20 volumes would be published by 1976, in conjunction with the bicentennial celebration.'4 Everyone involved, however, had underestimated the time required to complete such a large and complex project. A second volume, on the Northeast, was published in 1978, followed a year later by the first of two volumes on the Southwest. Between 1980 and 1990, volumes were published at intervals of between one and three years: volume 6, Subarctic, in 1981; the second volume (10) of the Southwest in 1983; volume 5, Arctic, in 1984; volume 11, Great Basin, in 1986; volume 4, History of Indian- White Relations, in 1989; and volume 7,Northwest Coast, in 1990.
Several strategies designed to increase the rate of production were implemented the general supervision of the Handbook was taken over by the associate director of the NMNH and later by the chairman of the Department of Anthropology;'5 managing editors were hired to direct the editorial staff; volume editors were contracted to come to Washington to supervise the completion of their volumes-but to little effect. In the 1990s, a series of fiscal, logistical, and organizational problems combined to slacken the pace of production further and no volumes were produced until 1996, when volume 17, Languages, edited by Goddard, appeared.
Despite these difficulties, Sturtevant's commitment to the Handbook remained firm. He continued to fulfill his duties as general editor, but around 1980 he began to focus more of his time and energy on other activities. He served as president of the American Anthropological Association from 1980 to 1981 and then spent part of the spring semester of 1981 at the University of California at Berkeley as a Regents Lecturer. In 1982 he began a six-year term on the board of directors of Survival International, which overlapped with his fourth term (1984-1986) on the board of trustees of the Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation. Between 1981 and 1985 he sponsored four Smithsonian postdoctoral fellows and served on two thesis committees at Johns Hopkins. In 1980 he and Theda Maw separated, and they divorced in 1986. He spent the academic year 1986-1987 as a Smithsonian Fellow at Oxford University's Worcester College, and in 1990 he married Sally McLendon, a linguist and anthropologist at Hunter College and the graduate school of the City University of New York.
Sturtevant's curatorial duties changed somewhat in September of 1980 when I was hired as an associate curator of anthropology and North American ethnologist to fill the position vacated by Ewers, who had retired in 1978. Sturtevant and I agreed to divide the responsibility for the North American ethnology collections according to our areas of expertise: he would curate the collections from eastern North America, the Arctic, Subarctic, and the Northwest Coast, while I would curate those from the Plains, Great Basin, Plateau, California, Southwest, and northern Mexico. Apart from standard activities like reviewing loan requests and proposing new accessions, two major curatorial matters dominated our attention in the 1980s and 1990s. The first was the move of the entire ethnological and archaeological collections of the Department of Anthropology from the attics and hallways of the NMNH, on the National Mall, to a state-of-the-art storage facility in Suitland, Maryland, in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. This move was largely completed for the North American ethnology collections by 1992. The second matter was responding to requests from American Indian tribes for the return of objects, usually of religious significance, from the collections. We received the first major repatriation request from the Pueblo of Zuni in 1981 and responded to several other, smaller requests in the following years. (6) With the passage of federal repatriation legislation in the 1990s, repatriation-related activities have taken priority over all our other curatorial duties.
FIGURE 7.-William Sturtevant at work in his office in the Department of Anthropology, NMNH, September 1980. Photograph by Sheila Hicks.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Sturtevant continued to pursue his long-term research interests. He worked with Seminole people in both Florida and Washington, D.C., on several different projects, including the creation of a new exhibit on the Seminoles in the permanent North American Indian halls of the NMNH. He also compiled two anthologies on Creek and Seminole history and culture (Sturtevant, editor, 1987a, 1987b) and published articles on a wide range of topics, including anthropological museums and archives; American Indian art, material culture, and political organization; and Eastern North American Indian ethnology, history, and linguistics (Sturtevant, 1980c, 1981a, 1981c, 1983b, 1985, 1986a, 1986b, 1991a, 1991c, 1994a, 1994b; Meltzer and Sturtevant, 1983; Krech and Sturtevant, 1992, 1995; Archambault and Sturtevant, 1996a, 1996b). In the last category were two major studies of Iroquois culture, one providing a detailed overview of Seneca masking, the other a thorough analysis of modem Iroquois ritual as practiced in the 15 principal Iroquois communities in Ontario, Quebec, New York, and Oklahoma (Sturtcvant, 1983a, 1984).
In addition to these diverse projects, he devoted considerable time to his investigation of early European illustrations of the New World and its native inhabitants, the main focus of his research during this period. When he began this project in the 1950s, his primary goal had been to locate illustrations of eastern North American Indians produced prior to the emergence of photography in the mid-nineteenth century. Soon, however, his research encompassed the entire Western Hemisphere as well as other parts of the world and became a central component of his efforts to understand native New World cultures and societies in historical context.
FIGURE 8. William Sturtevant with Claude Levi-Strauss in his office at the College de France, Paris, 24 November 1981. Photograph by Josef Koudelka.
He considered such illustrations to be an invaluable complement to early written descriptions of New World people because they could portray certain kinds of ethnographic data not readily described in words. The information they contained, however, like that found in historical documents, could not be accepted uncritically. To evaluate their ethnographic reliability, he began comparing the ethnographic content of the illustrations with information preserved in historical documents, the archaeological record, museum collections, and modern ethnographies. He soon discovered that European illustrators often incorporated elements into their portrayals of the New World that they derived from the compositions of their predecessors, in some cases originally depicting scenes, people, or objects from Africa, Asia, or other parts of the Old World. He encountered numerous examples of what he called "recurring visual images" (Sturtevant and Quinn, 1987:99), in which the same or similar image appeared in a sequence of illustrations, frequently attributed to quite distant areas of the New World at distinct points in time.
To sort out the "genealogical" linkages among these illustrations and to establish the corpus of illustrations and other information available to artists when they produced their works, he reconstructed the chronology of European illustrations and written accounts of the New World and the history of their diffusion within Europe. To the same end, he investigated the history of New World people and artifacts in Europe, whose presence would have afforded artists the opportunity to produce illustrations from life without actually traveling to the New World. He also examined the intended audiences of the illustrations, prevailing conventions of composition and aesthetics, and European stereotypes of the New World, not only to determine the impact of such factors on the accuracy of the illustrations but to explore the social and cultural contexts within which they were produced. From early in his research, he had realized that these illustrations frequently revealed as much about the societies and cultures of the artists as they did those of their subjects.
By the 1990s he had devoted nearly four decades to this work and had located and analyzed several thousand relevant drawings, paintings, and sculptures. In addition to developing the methodology required to undertake this kind of research, he filled a number of gaps and corrected many mistakes in the historical ethnography of the New World. The results of his work have had substantial impact not only on historical anthropology and New World ethnology but on European and American history, American studies, and art history. His detailed overview of the "First Visual Images of Native America" (Sturtevant, 1976; see also Sturtevant, 1991b), has been particularly important; its significance to the development of a new focus of anthropological inquiry is comparable to that of his earlier essays on ethnoscience and ethnohistory. Another notable contribution is his careful analysis of the history of the transformation of the vertical feather headdress from an article of limited distribution in the New World at the time of European contact into the preeminent symbol of American Indians for Europeans and Indians alike (Sturtevant, 1988, 1990, 1992). In the course of this and other illustrations-based research, he has provided crucial insights into the evolution of European conceptions of the non-European world, the impact of these conceptions on non-Europeans' images of themselves, and the more encompassing processes of interactions between Europeans and American Indians.
The development of Sturtevant's research and writing over the course of his career has followed a pattern that most scholars, reflecting on their own research careers, will find familiar. His undergraduate and graduate training channeled an early, general interest in anthropology and American Indians into a concentration on more specific areas, which became the focus of his initial research. This research served as the point of departure for a series of projects on related themes as his work on one topic led him to investigate others. The direction of Sturtevant's research also shifted as he began exploring other, often quite different topics and responded to invitations from colleagues to participate in their own projects, and its progress was periodically delayed as he fulfilled growing obligations to his institution and profession.
What sets Sturtevant's research apart is its broad topical and geographical coverage, ranging from ethnobotany and material culture to art and the history of anthropology and encompassing much of the Western Hemisphere as well as other parts of the world. His knowledge of a number of languages mainly French, Spanish, and German, but also some Latin, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Greek, Russian, Chinese, Burmese, Mikasuki, and Creek and the collegial relationships he has established with scholars from other parts of the world, especially Europe and Latin America, have given him access to information and perspectives not available to most American anthropologists. Because of the breadth of his interests, he has contributed to the advancement of scholarship on a number of different topics, with the majority of his work ultimately linked to the development of knowledge within two general areas: the historical ethnology of the New World and the definition and practice of anthropology as a scholarly endeavor.
As a result of his fieldwork, Sturtevant has established the ethnographic foundation upon which all subsequent research on the Seminole will be based, and he has also provided important insights into neglected aspects of Iroquois culture. Convinced of the need to understand the results of his contemporary ethnographic research within a broad cultural and historical framework, he has contributed significantly to the development of a comparative ethnology and history of the Indians of eastern North America and the Caribbean and extended the ethnographic record for these and other regions of the New World back to the time of the arrival of Europeans. This work and his extensive interaction with the scholarly community have stimulated much important new research on American Indians. As general editor of the Handbook of North American Indians, he has also been instrumental in the creation of what many regard as the most important general overview of North American Indian culture and history ever produced.
Sturtevant has developed his ethnological and historical research in tandem with his work on defining the aims and scope of anthropology and his exploration of how the practice and results of anthropological research can be enhanced. He has elaborated a vision of anthropology as a discipline devoted to understanding humanity in all its dimensions and diversity, in which both the unique interests of each of the subdisciplines and their interdependence are recognized. He has also situated anthropology within the framework of scholarship in general, examining the features that distinguish anthropology from other scholarly disciplines as well as its linkages to them.
Sturtevant has focused much of his research at the interface between anthropology and other disciplines, mainly history, art history, and the natural sciences. Through this work, he has demonstrated the value of a multidisciplinary approach in which data drawn from sources traditionally associated with many different disciplines are brought to bear on particular research problems. In the process, he has worked out the methodology required to employ these materials in anthropological research and has played an important role in the development of several disciplinary-bridging specialities within anthropology, like ethnohistory and ethnobotany. He has also argued for decades that material culture and museum collections should be incorporated into the mainstream of anthropological research, but only recently have anthropologists and scholars in many other disciplines come to share his perspective.
Sturtevant's views of the discipline of anthropology have clearly influenced the approach he has adopted to his ethnological research. Throughout his career, he has regarded ethnological research as a collaborative undertaking in which scholars build upon the work of others to contribute, according to their distinct interests and inclinations, to the accumulation and refinement of knowledge. In "Anthropology as a Career" (Sturtevant, 1957), he described this research as involving three kinds of activities: recording and presenting information about particular societies and cultures (ethnography); comparing these ethnographic descriptions to isolate general processes and cross-cultural patterns of cultural diversity and similarity (comparative ethnology); and explaining these processes and patterns (cultural theory). In this view, the development of cultural theory obviously relies on the results of comparative ethnology and ethnography, but the three activities are interdependent dimensions of a single intellectual process rather than separate, isolated steps.
Sturtevant has presented his theoretical perspectives in both focused theoretical studies and in the reports of the results of his ethnographic and comparative ethnological research. Through this work, he has contributed to a more profound understanding of the general structure of cultural systems, long-term cultural and social processes, the complexities of inter-cultural and inter-ethnic relations, the transformation of non-Western art and material culture into commodities, and cross-cultural conceptions of art and aesthetics. He has also devoted considerable attention to examining the nature of ethnography and to developing the procedures required to improve its quality.
FIGURE 9-William Sturtevant in the offices of the Handbook of North American Indians with the final page proofs and binding mock-up for the Arctic volume, 1985. The two posters are from Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen: left, four Greenlanders, painted in Bergen in 1654 by an anonymous artist; right, a "Tapuya man" from Brazil, painted in 1643 by Albert Eckhout. Photograph by Kim Nielsen. Courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution (neg. no. 85-3235-8).
Sturtevant's extensive publication record is presented in the following paper (Merrill, 2002), but these works only partially reflect the extent of his research. Because he holds himself to such high standards of scholarship, he has been reluctant to publish research that he feels is incomplete. Folders and card files of data organized into numerous ongoing projects fill his office and overflow into the hallway outside.
In 1996 I asked him about these pending research projects. A few weeks later he gave me a list, "compiled from memory alone," of 64 projects related to a wide range of topics: the history of anthropology; museum collections; material culture; European explorations and representations of the New World; American Indian art produced within the European art tradition; the historical ethnography, comparative ethnology, ethnohistory, ethnobotany, and linguistics of the New World, especially eastern North America; Tupinambá chiefdoms; Burmese dress; and tattooing around the world. He titled the list "projects for the future" and noted, "These are topics for which I have data, in various amounts, as well as ideas about how to write them up (usually after further investigation). Obviously I am unlikely to follow through on most of them, but my files should be helpful for others in the future." At the end of the list, he added nine topics on which he has fieldnotes but no plans for publication.
Sturtevant's contribution to anthropology clearly has not been restricted to his research and publications. He has served the discipline in a variety of capacities, including terms as the president of four of its major professional organizations and as a consultant to a number of universities, museums, and granting agencies. He has been one of the field's leading advocates for museum anthropology and for standards of museum practice now followed around the world. He has devoted considerable energy to making anthropology accessible to a wide audience and to supporting American Indians in their efforts to gain federal recognition and to defend their rights, especially to land and religious freedom. He has also been a enthusiastic collaborator in the projects of his colleagues and an inspiration and guide to many students and young scholars in their own anthropological pursuits.
Visitors to Sturtevant's office, located on an interior corridor in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, are inevitably struck by the sheer amount of material it contains. Stacks of papers and books, once characterized in a reprimand from the Smithsonian's safety office as "trash on the floor," line the narrow passages through the office and cover his desk and an adjacent table. Hundreds of books and journals run along two walls for the entire length of the office, organized by subject on shelves that rise from floor to ceiling. File cabinets line another wall and fill the center of the office, joined by index-card files filled with the 3 x 5 inch slips on which he jots down new ideas and records bibliographic information relevant to the myriad topics that are of interest to him. But more impressive than the office itself is his willingness to stop what he is doing to discuss whatever is on his visitor's mind. In my experience, surely shared by many others, I have never found him too busy to exchange ideas, and I have never encountered a topic that failed to interest him or about which he had no knowledge.
To recognize his contributions to scholarship and to his profession, on 14 November 1996 Brown University awarded Sturtevant an honorary doctorate in humane letters. During the presentation ceremony, Vartan Gregorian, president of Brown, read the following citation:
"For over forty years a distinguished anthropologist, your career has beenmarked by a long-standing concern for fusing the anthropological and the historical analysis of culture. and for the preservation of the material record of humankind.
Through extended ethnographic fieldwork among the Seminole, Burmese, Seneca, and other indigenous people of North and Middle America and Asia, combined with intensive research in historical archives on several continents, you have been a pioneer in the development of ethnohistory and a contemporary historical anthropology. By example you have led the way not only to a responsible historiography in which languages and histories of indigenous people are constituted, but to scrutiny of the relationship between museums and the public.
As a general anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution, you have helped bring American Indians into public consciousness, and in congressional testimony you have left a record on behalf of native rights.
As general editor of the multi-volume landmark series, the Handbook of North American Indians, curator of North American ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution, author or editor of more than 200 works, and in your many leadership positions, you have been a major stimulus for research on the native people of North America.
We honor you today for these lasting achievements."
I am grateful to William Sturtevant and Robert Laughlin for sharing with me their files on the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology, Department of Anthropology, and Center for the Study of Man and to Stewart Brand, Harold Conklin, and Sheila Hicks for permitting me to use photographs from their personal collections. Robert Sayers kindly allowed me to consult tape recordings of interviews that he conducted with Sturtevant in 1996, and Paul Theerman provided crucial information on the history of the Smithsonian. In preparing the final version of this essay, I have benefited greatly from the insightful commentaries of Harold Conklin, Ives Goddard, Sally McLendon, Harriett Shapiro, and William Sturtevant.
1. Sturtevant studied French in elementary school and studied Latin, Greek, Russian, and Chinese in high school. In his junior and senior years at Berkeley, he also took courses in German.
2. Sturtevant's military service entitled him to the financial aid provided by the G1 Bill, which he used, together with the funds from the Nobel Prize award mentioned by Shapiro (2002), to pay for his education at both the University of California and Yale.
3. Apart from emphasizing the necessary interconnections among the diverse specialities and perspectives that make up anthropology, Sturtevant has long believed that anthropology is an intellectual endeavor that should transcend cultural and national boundaries. In this regard, he found particularly appealing the remark of his friend John Murra (1976:4), who, in describing his attitude toward anthropology, commented, "I pretend it is my only ethnic, religious, and ideologic affiliation."
4. Another of Sturtevant's graduate-student friends, Donald Simmons, was a dedicated bibliophile. He introduced Sturtevant to the world of book collecting, in which he has maintained an avid interest ever since.
5. Sturtevant's linguistics professor at Yale, Bernard Bloch, taught his students that they should approach a new language by focusing first on phonology and then on morphology before moving on to syntax and other aspects of the language. Although such a stepwise approach makes some sense for linguistic analysis, it is not the best way to conduct fieldwork in linguistics. Sturtevant feels that he did not master spoken Mikasuki largely because he followed this approach, and Floyd Lounsbury once told him that he blamed Blochs overly theoretical approach for diverting Sturtevant from a career in linguistics.
6. While preparing his doctoral dissertation, Sturtevant was employed by the Tri-Institutional Pacific Program at Yale. This program was created by George Peter Murdock to undertake comparative linguistic studies of Malayo-Polynesian languages. Sturtevant and George Grace focused on compiling vocabulary lists from these languages derived from published sources. Grace later did fieldwork and published the results of the project (e.g., Grace, 1955, 1961).
7. For a history of anthropology at the Smithsonian, from the founding of the Institution in 1846 until 1910, see Hinsley, 1981. For information on events related to this history that occurred between 1950 and 1985, 1 have relied on the annual reports of the Smithsonian Institution (after 1965, titled Smithsonian Year) as well as on unpublished documents currently in the files of Sturtevant and Robert Laughlin and on conversations with Sturtevant and other members of the Department of Anthropology.
8. Sturtevant to S. Dillon Ripley, 30 Jun 1964, Rangoon, copy in Sturtevant's possession.
9. In a 1969 memorandum to the director of the NMNH, Sturtevant indicated that he was "uncomfortable" being identified as the leader of the anti-Evans faction in the department. Memorandum, William C. Sturtevant to Richard Cowan, 29 Dec 1969, copy in Sturtevant's possession.
10. Memorandum, 14 Oct 1969, from Divisional Supervisors, Department of Anthropology ([Gordon] Gibson, Old World; [Robert] Laughlin, Latin America; [Lucille] St. Hoyme, Physical (Acting); [William] Sturtevant, North America) to Richard Cowan, copy in Sturtevant's possession.
11. Sturtevant was also responsible for naming the archives. The first name adopted was the "National Archives of Anthropology," but he convinced Margaret Blaker, head of the archives, that this name would lead to confusion with the National Archives and that "National Anthropological Archives" would thus be better.
12. The problems facing the Museum of the American Indian were resolved in large part by its incorporation into the Smithsonian Institution in 1990. Most of the events leading up to this development occurred after Sturtevant was no longer a member of the Heye Foundation's board of trustees.
13. The original is as follows: "Voici done le premier résultat d'une monumentale entreprise en gestation depuis plus de dix ans sous la direction générale de W. C. Sturtevant qui a mis au service de ce projet son talent d'organisateur, son immense erudition et-on s'en aperçoit a lire les pages oû il présente l'ensemble-l'audace inventive et l'originalité d'esprit qui le caraetérisent....il est à peine besoin d'ajouter que le nouveau Handbook of North American Indians promet d'etre-qu'il est déjà pour Faire californienne un instrument de travail absolument indispensable qui devra figurer dans les rayons de toute bibliothèque publique ou privée" (Levi-Strauss, 1979:77-79).
14. Until 1988, the majority of funding for the Handbook came from federal appropriations originally designated for the bicentennial.
15. These changes in the administration of the Handbook were linked to some extent to changes in the place of the Center for the Study of Man (CSM) within the administrative structure of the NMNH. Sal Tax resigned his directorship of the CSM in 1976. In October of that year the director of the NMNH took over the direct administration of the CSM, which began being identified with the National Museum of Man, the new museum of anthropology that was being planned then. By that date, the CSM included, in addition to the Handbook and several small programs and projects, major programs in immigration studies and anthropological film. Soon afterward, the Handbook was established as a separate unit within the NMNH, and then, in the early 1980s, it was integrated into the Department of Anthropology, along with the program in anthropological film (now known as the Human Studies Film Archives). About the same time, the program in immigration studies was abolished, and the CSM itself was closed in 1983.
16. For a summary of the Zuni repatriation request, see Merrill et al., 1993, and Merrill and Ahlborn, 1997.
Archambault, JoAllyn, and William C. Sturtevant 1996a. Museums and Collectors. In Frederick E. Hoxie, editor, Encyclopedia of North American Indians, pages 407-410. Boston: Houghton Milffin. 1996b. 50 Years of Native American Research at the Smithsonian. Anthro Notes, 18(3):8-l I.
Axtell, James, and William C. Sturtevant 1980. The Unkindest Cut, or Who Invented Scalping? William and Macv Quarterly, series 3, 37:451-472.
Berreman, Gerald 1966. Anemic and Emetic Analyses in Social Anthropology. American Anthropologist, 68:346-354.
Billard, Jules B., editor 1974. The World of the American Indian. 399 pages. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.
Capron, Louis 1953. The Medicine Bundles of the Florida Seminole and the Green Corn Dance. Bulletin, Bureau ofAmerican Ethnology, 151: Anthropological Papers, 35:155-210.
Conklin, Harold C. 1962. Commentary [on Charles 0. Frake's The Ethnographic Study of Cognitive Systems]. In Thomas Gladwin and William C. Sturtevant, editors, Anthropology and Human Behavior~ pages 86-93. Washington, D.C.: The Anthropological Society of Washington.
Conklin, Harold C., and William C. Sturtevant 1953. Seneca Indian Singing Tools at Coldspring Longhouse: Musical Instruments of the Modern Iroquois. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 97:262-290.
Diamond, Stanley, William C. Sturtevant, and William N. Fenton 1964. Memorandum. In U.S. House of Representatives, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Indian Affair.c of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, Eighty-eighth Congress, First Session, on HR. 1794, HR. 3343 and HR. 7354. May 18, July 15, 16, August 8, 9, 12, 19 and 20, October 31, November 1, December 9 and 10, 1963, Salamanca, N. K, and Washington, D.C., pages 504-505. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. [This memorandum also appeared, under the same title, in U.S. Senate, Hearing before the Subcommittee on Indian Affairs of the Committee on Interior and In.cular Affairs, United States Senate, Eighty-eighth Uongress, Second Session, on S. 1836 and HR. 1794. March 2,1964, pages 109-111. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Goverment Printing Office. It was reprinted in 1964 under the title "Memorandum Submitted to Subcommittees on Indian Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives," American Anthropologist, 66(3):63 1-633.]
Ewers, John C. 1956. New Ethnological Exhibits, United States National Museum, Wash ington, D.C. Museum, 9:28-36. 1959. A Century of American Indian Exhibits in the Smithsonian Institution. In Annual Report o/the Board Qf Regents of the Smithsonian Institution fi)r 1958, pages 5 13-525. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office
Fairbanks, Charles H., Irving Rouse, and William C. Sturtevant, editors 1964. Indian and Spanish: Selected Writings he John M Goggin. 329 pages. Coral Gables, Florida: University of Miami Press.
Frake, Charles 0. 1962. The Ethnographic Study of Cognitive Systems. ln Thomas Gladwin and William C. Sturtevant, editors, Anthropology and Human Behavior, pages 72-85. Washington, D.C.: The Anthropological Society of Washington.
Freed, Stanley A., Donald Collier, and William Fenton 1977. A Brief History of the Council. Council frr Museum Anthropology Newsletter, 1(2): 11-14.
Fried, Morton H., editor 1959. Readings in Anthropology. 2 volumes, xi+428, ix± 598 pages. New York: Crowell.
Gladwin, Thomas, and William C. Sturtevant, editors 1962. Anthropology and Human Behavior. vii+2 14 pages. Washington, D.C.: The Anthropological Society of Washington.
Goggin, John M., and William C. Sturtevant 1964. The Calusa: A Stratified, Nonagricultural Society (with Notes on Sibling Marriage). In Ward H. Goodenough, editor, Explorations in Cultural Anthropology: Essays in Honor of George Peter Murdock, pages 179-219. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.
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Sturtevant, William C., consultant 1972. Indians of North America. National Geographic, l42(6):739A [map supplement].
Sturtevant, William C., editor 1974. Boxes and Bowls: Decorated Containers by Nineteenth-Centurv Haida, Tlingit, Bella Bella, and Tsimshian Indian Artists. 93 pages. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the Renwick Gallery of the National Collection of Fine Arts. 1987a. A Creek Source Book. 400 pages. New York: Garland Publishing. 1987b. A Seminole Source Book. 315 pages. New York: Garland Publishing.
Sturtevant, William C., Warwick Bray, and Jonathan King 1978. The Americas on the Eve of European Conquest. [Maps.] In Geoffrey Barraclough, editor, The Times Atlas of World History, pages 148-149. London: Times Books.
Sturtevant, William C., and David Beers Quinn 1987. This New Prey: Eskimos in Europe in 1567, 1576, and 1577. In Christian F. Feest, editor, Indians and Europe: An interdisciplinary Collection of Essays, pages 61-140. Aachen: Edition Herodot, Rader Verlag. [Series: Forum (Edition Herodot), 11.]
Sturtevant, William C., and Samuel Stanley 1968. Indian Communities in the Eastern States. The indian Historian, 1: 15-19.
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