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By Virginia Kerns

Journeys West lines trips made in the course of seven months of fieldwork in 1935 and 1936 via Julian Steward, a tender anthropologist, and his spouse, Jane. Virginia Kerns identifies the rankings of local elders whom they met in the course of the Western wasteland, women and men formerly identified in print purely by means of initials and hence mostly invisible as basic resources of Steward’s vintage ethnography. in addition to humanizing Steward’s cultural informants—revealing them as specified members and in addition as first-generation survivors of an ecological quandary attributable to American payment in their lands—Kerns indicates how the elders labored with Steward. each one helped to build an ethnographic portrait of existence in a selected position within the excessive barren region of the good Basin. 
The elders’ stories of the way they and their ancestors had lived via searching and gathering—a sustainable lifestyle that persevered for generations—richly illustrated what Steward termed cultural adaptation. It later grew to become a key idea in anthropology and continues to be appropriate this present day in an age of world environmental drawback.
Based on meticulous examine, this booklet attracts on a powerful array of evidence—from interviews and observations to census facts, correspondence, and the sector journals of the Stewards. trips West illuminates now not only the elders who have been Steward’s publications but in addition the perform of ethnographic fieldwork: a learn strategy that's either a trip and a particular method of taking a look, listening, and learning.

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Still, unsure about their whereabouts in the near future, she considered every purchase carefully, wondering if it would pack. ”17 They drove a standard passenger car, a Chevrolet coupe, which Julian had fitted out for camping in the desert. To combat the hot dry air, which felt like a blast from a forced-air heater as it blew in through the car windows, they carried desert water bags. Each canvas bag held about two gallons and could be hung over a window. The rush of hot air over damp canvas caused evaporation, cooling the air as it entered the car.

Her effervescent good humor rarely failed, and she liked to laugh. Julian’s friends approved of her from the start. She was “high-spirited,” in the language of the day, and made friends quickly. By contrast, Julian, usually serious and at times withdrawn, often depended on Jane’s buoyant spirits to lift his own. They settled in Berkeley because Julian needed to find work, and Berkeley offered the best prospects. In those years of the Great Depression, jobs remained scarce and the unemployment rate high.

Steward also said that “innate male dominance” favored malecentered groups. In that single phrase he expressed a common belief among Americans at the time, and among many members of his own profession, about the nature of male-female relations. 13 His earlier research with Paiutes in the Owens Valley convinced him that they had lived in composite bands, not in patrilineal bands. Reports about hunter-gatherers elsewhere in the world, however, led him to think that patrilineal bands had existed in many places, including the deserts of Australia and Southern California.

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