UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Folk history in a small Canadian Community Laforet, Andrea Lynne 1974

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FOLK HISTORY IN A SMALL CANADIAN COMMUNITY  by  ANDREA LYNNE LAFORET B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1969  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  i n t h e Department of ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o t h e requ/yed s t a n d a r d  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1974  In  presenting  this  an a d v a n c e d  degree  the  shall  I  Library  further  for  scholarly  by h i s of  agree  this  thesis at  the U n i v e r s i t y  make  it  freely  that permission  p u r p o s e s may  representatives. thesis  in p a r t i a l  for  financial  is  of  of  Columbia,  British  available  by  the  gain  shall  not  of  Anthropology  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada  and  Sociology  Columbia  the  requirements  reference copying of  I  agree  and this  copying or  be a l l o w e d  for  that  study. thesis  Head o f my D e p a r t m e n t  understood that  written permission.  Department  for  for extensive  be g r a n t e d  It  fulfilment  or  publication  without  my  i  ABSTRACT  T h i s i s a study o f f o l k h i s t o r y i n Y a l e , B r i t i s h Columbia, a s m a l l community w i t h a p o p u l a t i o n t h a t i s p a r t o f western Canadian s o c i e t y .  Folk  h i s t o r y , which encompasses those a s p e c t s o f a s o c i e t y ' s past which a r e s o c i a l l y and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y important and  t o i t s members, and t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n  s o c i a l use o f knowledge o f t h e past w i t h i n t h e s o c i e t y , has been s t u -  d i e d i n some n o n - l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s , but never i n a l i t e r a t e s o c i e t y . c a r r y i n g out t h i s study I have c o n c e n t r a t e d Y a l e ' s past c o n s i d e r e d  In  on e l u c i d a t i n g t h e f e a t u r e s o f  s i g n i f i c a n t by r e s i d e n t s o f Y a l e , t h e c h a r a c t e r i s -  t i c s and q u a l i f i c a t i o n s o f c u s t o d i a n s o f knowledge o f t h e p a s t , and the s o c i a l c o n t e x t s o f t r a n s m i s s i o n o f such knowledge. In s o c i e t i e s without  w r i t i n g , h i s t o r y i s c l o s e l y integrated with  the i d e n t i t y o f t h e s o c i a l group.  Custodians  o f knowledge o f t h e past a r e  i n s t r u c t e d f o r m a l l y o r i n f o r m a l l y , and e x e r c i s e t h e i r knowledge by v i r t u e o f t h i s i n s t r u c t i o n and o f o t h e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , such a s p o s i t i o n i n t h e s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e o r r e l a t i v e l y advanced age. is highly p o l i t i c a l  i n content  H i s t o r y i n such s o c i e t i e s  and f u n c t i o n .  The p r i n c i p a l v e h i c l e f o r o r a l t r a n s m i s s i o n o f knowledge o f t h e past i n l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s has been assumed  t o be t h e legend  but t h e c h a r -  a c t e r i s t i c s o f c u s t o d i a n s o f knowledge and t h e s o c i a l c o n t e x t s o f t r a n s m i s s i o n have n o t been i n v e s t i g a t e d .  O r a l l y t r a n s m i t t e d knowledge of h i s t o r y  i n Y a l e i n c o r p o r a t e s some o f t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f h i s t o r y i n n o n - l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s and some o f t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f N o r t h American f o l k l o r e , but  ii  d i f f e r s from b o t h i n i m p o r t a n t ways.  The l e g e n d , i n t h e sense of a n a r r a -  t i v e w h i c h i s b e l i e v e d and has a knowable h i s t o r i c s e t t i n g e x i s t s , l e a s t i d e a l l y , among t h e genres o f f o l k l o r e t o be found i n Y a l e .  at However,  I have n o t c o n c e n t r a t e d on a d e s c r i p t i o n o r a n a l y s i s o f t h i s o r o t h e r g e n r e s . The p e o p l e o f Y a l e a r e h i g h l y c o n s c i o u s o f the importance of community's h i s t o r y and h i s t o r y i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o the i d e n t i t y of community.  the the  There a r e c u s t o d i a n s o f knowledge of h i s t o r y , o l d - t i m e r s , who  as a r u l e have not been i n s t r u c t e d f o r m a l l y by p r e v i o u s o l d - t i m e r s , but a r e expected t o have knowledge and t o d i s p e n s e i t by v i r t u e o f  character-  i s t i c s such as advanced a g e , b i r t h i n Y a l e , l o n g r e s i d e n c e i n t h e community and t h e p o s s e s s i o n of a r t i f a c t s and b o o k s . There a r e t h r e e t y p e s o f p e o p l e who p a r t i c i p a t e i n Y a l e ' s history:  folk  o u t s i d e r s who come t o Y a l e w i t h an amateur o r p r o f e s s i o n a l i n t e r -  e s t i n t h e p a s t , and c o n s t i t u t e t h e p r i n c i p a l a u d i e n c e s f o r o l d - t i m e r s ' knowledge, t h e o l d - t i m e r s , and o t h e r p e o p l e o f Y a l e , whose p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n h i s t o r y c o n s i s t s o f spontaneous p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n community f e s t i v a l s  in  w h i c h h i s t o r i c a l themes a r e i n t e r p r e t e d f r e e l y , and i n b e i n g aware of landmarks and a r t i f a c t s w i t h h i s t o r i c s i g n i f i c a n c e . There i s no p u b l i c o c c a s i o n d u r i n g w h i c h o l d - t i m e r s t r a n s m i t t h e i r knowledge o f t h e p a s t t o o t h e r r e s i d e n t s of Y a l e .  G e n e r a l l y t h e knowledge  o f o l d - t i m e r s i s n o t f u l l y known t o t h e p e o p l e o f Y a l e and i s f o r m a l l y t r a n s m i t t e d o n l y t o o u t s i d e r s , a l t h o u g h o l d - t i m e r s may be c o n s u l t e d by Y a l e p e o p l e i f s p e c i f i c need a r i s e s , and i n f o r m a l t r a n s m i s s i o n of knowledge o c c u r s i n the c o u r s e o f work, t r a v e l and t h e meetings o f f r i e n d s and a c q u a i n t a n c e s a t community f e s t i v a l s .  S t o r y - t e l l i n g sessions are comparatively  rare.  iii  H i s t o r y i n Y a l e i s not p o l i t i c a l  i n content or i n f u n c t i o n .  Old-  t i m e r s do not e x e r c i s e p o l i t i c a l power by v i r t u e of t h e i r s t a t u s as o l d t i m e r s and p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y  i s based on d i f f e r e n t  a c t i v e people a r e g e n e r a l l y persons who  information;  politically  a r e not o l d - t i m e r s .  Formal w r i t t e n h i s t o r y i s a p a r t of the c u l t u r e of the people Y a l e , and they a r e aware of i t .  Formal h i s t o r i e s of Y a l e can be based  of on  f a i r l y r i c h documentation, e s p e c i a l l y f o r s e v e r a l s p e c i f i c p e r i o d s of i n t e n s e a c t i v i t y d u r i n g the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y .  The  f o l k h i s t o r y of  community o v e r l a p s to some e x t e n t w i t h f o r m a l h i s t o r y , e s p e c i a l l y r e g a r d to the themes of Y a l e ' s development and d e c l i n e .  with  Books, b o t h  s c h o l a r l y and popular p u b l i c a t i o n s , a r e seen as sources or p o t e n t i a l of  knowledge by o l d - t i m e r s , but they a r e more f r e q u e n t l y used as  of  knowledge.  The  the  sources  symbols  accumulated r e c o r d s on which w r i t t e n h i s t o r y i s based  a r e not a c c e s s i b l e to most Y a l e people, and f o l k h i s t o r y i s an s e p a r a t e from f o r m a l h i s t o r y .  activity  iv.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Page Introduction CHAPTER I  1 KNOWLEDGE OF THE PAST  2  Non-Literate Societies  2  Literate Societies:  Formal H i s t o r y  10  Literate Societies:  Folk History  17  The  CHAPTER I I  S o c i a l Base o f F o l k l o r e  23  The N a r r a t o r and t h e A u d i e n c e  25  F o l k l o r e and L i t e r a c y  29  The T h e s i s :  32  Focus and Method  YALE IN THE PAST  35  1.  The F i r s t S e t t l e r s  38  2.  The Gold Rush  57  The Gold Rush: Establishment  3.  The Whites  57  o f B u s i n e s s e s and L e g a l  Institutions  61  S u b s i s t e n c e , Trade and T r a n s p o r t  65  Law  71  The Gold Rush:  The I n d i a n s  80  The Gold Rush:  The C h i n e s e  84  Conclusion  86  1860-1880  88  The White Community - Economic and P o l i t i c a l Organization  88  Y a l e R e s i d e n t s and t h e Law  96  R e l i g i o u s I n s t i t u t i o n s and Community Organization F e s t i v a l s and S o c i a l E v e n t s  98 101  V  Page  4.  CHAPTER I V  The I n d i a n Community  106  1860-1880:  The C h i n e s e Community  119  The M i n e r s  119  The Businessmen  121  Social Organization  123  The 1880*s  127  The White Community  129  P o l i t i c a l and S o c i a l O r g a n i z a t i o n  139  Religious  Institutions  149  F e s t i v a l s and Other S o c i a l E v e n t s  151  1880's:  152  The C h i n e s e Community  The C h i n e s e R a i l w a y Workers  153  Attitudes  156  o f W h i t e s Towards C h i n e s e  C h i n e s e and t h e Law  158  Businesses  160  Social Organization  163  1880's:  166  The I n d i a n Community  The Impact o f t h e R a i l r o a d  170  A f t e r t h e CPR  174  The CNR  178  Conclusion  182  CONTEMPORARY YALE  189  P o l i t i c a l and S o c i a l O r g a n i z a t i o n  200  Informal  210  5.  CHAPTER I I I  1860-1880:  S o c i a l Gatherings  Social Stratification  216  Summary  220  THE OLD-TIMERS  223  The Old-Timers  226  vi  Page Qualifications  231  Role  237  Successors  242  CHAPTER V  THE HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS  245  CHAPTER V I  THE OPERATION OF FOLK HISTORY  318  Concepts o f H i s t o r y  318  Landmarks and M a t e r i a l O b j e c t s  319  The W r i t t e n Record  327  H i s t o r y and Community F e s t i v a l s  329  S o c i a l Contexts of Transmission  331  T r a v e l and T r a n s m i s s i o n o f Knowledge  338  H o l i d a y s , Community F e s t i v a l s and t h e T r a n s m i s s i o n o f Knowledge  341  Story-Telling  343  Sessions  The A c t o f S t o r y - T e l l i n g  347  Summary and C o n c l u s i o n s  351  Bibliography  357  Appendix  378  Map 1  vii  Map 2  223  vii  1  INTRODUCTION  T h i s t h e s i s i s an e x p l o r a t i o n o f some a s p e c t s o f f o l k h i s t o r y i n Y a l e , B r i t i s h Columbia, a s m a l l community w i t h a p o p u l a t i o n t h a t c o n s t i t u t e s p a r t o f l i t e r a t e western Canadian s o c i e t y .  I n g e n e r a l , f o l k h i s t o r y con-  s i s t s o f those f e a t u r e s o f a s o c i e t y ' s past which a r e c o n s i d e r e d s o c i a l l y and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , by t h e members o f t h e s o c i e t y .  important,  I n t h e course  of t h i s work I have i s o l a t e d those f e a t u r e s o f Y a l e ' s past which those who l i v e there f i n d  significant.  There have been a n a l y s e s o f t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n and s o c i a l use o f knowledge o f t h e past i n n o n - l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s , but f o r l i t e r a t e and  societies,  e s p e c i a l l y f o r s p e c i f i c communities w i t h a l i t e r a t e p o p u l a t i o n , t h e r e  has been no study o f t h e o p e r a t i o n o f f o l k h i s t o r y i n s o c i a l l i f e . t i o n s have been made o f legends,  Collec-  g e n e r a l l y considered the p r i n c i p a l v e h i c l e  f o r t h e o r a l t r a n s m i s s i o n o f knowledge o f t h e past i n l i t e r a t e  communities,  but t h e r e i s debate among f o l k l o r i s t s about t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t d e f i n e t h e legend  as a genre. In t h i s t h e s i s I have presented  some m a t e r i a l c o l l e c t e d  but I have n o t d i s c u s s e d t h e genres o f o r a l l i t e r a t u r e t o be found community.  I have c o n c e n t r a t e d  past c o n s i d e r e d  important  i n Yale, i n the  on e l u c i d a t i n g t h e n a t u r e o f t h e community's  by t h e people o f Y a l e , t h e i d e n t i t y ,  qualifications  and  f u n c t i o n s o f those who a c t as c u s t o d i a n s o f i n f o r m a t i o n about t h e p a s t ,  and  the s o c i a l contexts of transmission of t h i s  information.  2  CHAPTER I KNOWLEDGE OF THE  PAST  Non-Literate Societies The purpose o f t h i s i n i t i a l c h a p t e r i s t o d i s c u s s t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f knowledge o f t h e p a s t , i n s o f a r as they a r e known, i n n o n - l i t e r a t e and l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s .  A n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have l o n g r e c o g n i z e d t h a t  l i t e r a t e p e o p l e s p l a c e h i g h v a l u e on knowledge of t h e s o c i a l and  non-  religious  f o u n d a t i o n s o f t h e i r s o c i e t i e s and t a k e c a r e t h a t i t be passed on from generation to the next.  one  Knowledge o f t h e past i n n o n - l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s  has been f r e q u e n t l y subsumed under t h e g e n e r a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f "myth". M a l i n o w s k i s e t out the f u n c t i o n s o f T r o b r i a n d myth i n Argonauts of t h e Western Pacific  ( M a l i n o w s k i , 1922)  w h i l e he was  and "Myth i n P r i m i t i v e P s y c h o l o g y "  (1954),  and  e x t r a p o l a t i n g from h i s e x p e r i e n c e i n a p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r e , h i s  major g e n e r a l i z a t i o n t h a t myth s e r v e s as a c h a r t e r f o r t h e m o r a l o r d e r of a s o c i e t y has been adopted and a p p l i e d by subsequent g e n e r a t i o n s o f  anthropo-  l o g i s t s t o o t h e r s o c i e t i e s d i f f e r i n g i n a m u l t i t u d e of ways from t h e  Tro-  b r i a n d e r s o f t h e 1900's. Although  i t i s o r g a n i z e d and p r e s e n t e d  i n d i f f e r e n t forms, i s  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s o c i a l u n i t s o r g a n i z e d i n d i f f e r e n t ways, and c o n t a i n s i n f o r m a t i o n b e a r i n g on problems of o r d e r and i d e n t i t y t h a t vary, w i d e l y from one s o c i e t y t o a n o t h e r , knowledge of t h e p a s t s e r v e s t o enable p e o p l e  to  o r d e r t h e i r r e l a t i o n s w i t h one a n o t h e r , t o p r o v i d e t h e members of each h i s t o r y b e a r i n g group w i t h a common i d e n t i t y , and t o s e t t l e m a t t e r s of importance  3  concerning  disparate i n t e r e s t s within the society.  example those o f West A f r i c a sciousness  o f t h e past  In some s o c i e t i e s , f o r  (Henige, 1973) and P o l y n e s i a  i s p a r t i c u l a r l y high.  (Buck, 1952), con-  A n a l y s i s of the place of the  c o n s t r u c t i o n and use o f h i s t o r y i n t h e s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n and l i f e o f such s o c i e t i e s have r e v e a l e d literate  s e v e r a l major c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f h i s t o r y i n non-  societies. C l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f knowledge p e r t a i n i n g t o t h e past v a r i e s a c -  c o r d i n g t o genres o f v e r b a l a r t e x i s t i n g i n each c u l t u r e , but g e n e r a l l y t h e r e i s a d i s t i n c t i o n between s t o r i e s which may or may n o t r e l a t e t o ancest o r s o r events accomplished, but a r e t o l d f o r e n t e r t a i n m e n t , and n a r r a -  t i v e s t h a t i n c o r p o r a t e s i g n i f i c a n t f e a t u r e s pf t h e past f o r t h e s o c i a l group, and  a r e not t o l d f o r entertainment, but to e l u c i d a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s or other  matters c a l l e d  into question.  These a r e s u b j e c t t o c l o s e r r e s t r i c t i o n on  the manner and o c c a s i o n o f t h e i r t e l l i n g , of those w i t h p r e r o g a t i v e s o f t e l l i n g  as w e l l as on t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  t h e h i s t o r i e s and l i s t e n i n g t o them.  H i s t o r i c a l knowledge i s n o t g e n e r a l l y c o l l e c t i v e ,  i n t h e sense  t h a t i t i s possessed i n an e q u a l l y a c t i v e way by a l l t h e members o f a p a r t i c u l a r group.  I n each group t h e m a j o r i t y o f p e o p l e p a r t i c i p a t e p a s s i v e l y  i n t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e group, l i s t e n i n g on o c c a s i o n s when i t i s r e c i t e d , and perhaps a b l e - though n o t always w i l l i n g - t o r e c i t e p a r t s o f i t themselves when requested as b e i n g  by an o u t s i d e r t o do s o .  C e r t a i n members a r e acknowledged  c a p a b l e o f t r a n s m i t t i n g knowledge and as h a v i n g  which a l l o w s  them t o do s o .  the s o c i a l p o s i t i o n  4  The a c q u i s i t i o n of knowledge i s bound c l o s e l y t o t h e s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e s o c i e t y and t o t h e f u n c t i o n of knowledge of t h e p a s t .  The  e d u c a t i o n of s p e c i a l i s t s has ranged from h i g h l y f o r m a l t r a i n i n g , w i t h p r e s e l e c t i o n of c a n d i d a t e s on t h e b a s i s of h i g h s o c i a l r a n k , i n s i s t e n c e on p e r f e c t r e p e t i t i o n of i n f o r m a t i o n imparted by e x p e r t s i n a s p e c i a l s c h o o l , and f o r t i f i c a t i o n by r e l i g i o u s s a n c t i o n s a g a i n s t q u e s t i o n i n g e i t h e r knowledge o r t h e t e a c h i n g p r o c e s s , as among t h e M a o r i ( B e s t , 1924:  the 65-75),  t o more c a s u a l methods, by w h i c h t h e i n i t i a t i v e has come from a would-be s p e c i a l i s t , who,  s e e i n g a c o n n e c t i o n i n h i s s o c i e t y between knowledge of t h e  p a s t and a u t h o r i t y , has sought out o c c a s i o n s where such knowledge has been used, and, h a v i n g l i s t e n e d i n t e n t l y , has a m p l i f i e d what he has l e a r n e d by c o n s u l t i n g r e c o g n i z e d s p e c i a l i s t s on p o i n t s not made c l e a r . more c a s u a l , method o f l e a r n i n g was  The  latter,  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of s p e c i a l i s t s among  two, o t h e r w i s e s e p a r a t e , A f r i c a n groups, t h e G o l a (D'Azvedo, 1962)  and  the  T i v (Bohannon, 1952). S p e c i a l i s t s i n h i s t o r i c a l knowledge, once t r a i n e d , e x e r c i s e t h e i r knowledge by v i r t u e of s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t extend beyond s i m p l e p o s s e s s i o n of g e n e a l o g i c a l f a c t o r n a r r a t i v e s of m i g r a t i o n and  settlement.  Achievement o f t h e s t a t u s o f e l d e r i n t h e community, o r o f h i g h s t a t u s i n l i n e a g e o r c l a n , may  be n e c e s s a r y b e f o r e one who  has a c q u i r e d knowledge can  use i t e f f e c t i v e l y .  The use o f knowledge by a young man,  s t a t u s , w i l l not meet w i t h s o c i a l a p p r o v a l o r acceptance t h e group.  or one  without  by o t h e r members of  5  H i s t o r i e s v a r y i n form, b u t t h e i r c o n t e n t  i shighly p o l i t i c a l .  They i n c o r p o r a t e what i s s i g n i f i c a n t f o r t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f t h e h i s t o r y b e a r i n g group, whether t h a t i s g e n e a l o g i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n c o n f i r m i n g s h i p s w i t h i n t h e group and between g r o u p s , and t h e p r e r o g a t i v e s from t h e s e , o r n a r r a t i v e s o f m i g r a t i o n and s e t t l e m e n t  t h a t may  relation-  stemming confirm  c l a i m s t o l a n d s , o r v a l i d a t e t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s between d i s t i n c t groups ing w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r The  liv-  area.  i n t e r e s t s o f groups a r e n o t always c o m p a t i b l e ,  a r e used most f r e q u e n t l y i n t h e s e t t l e m e n t  of disputes.  and h i s t o r i e s  L e a c h , a f t e r ob-  s e r v i n g t h e use o f myth and r i t u a l i n t h e w i d e l y d i f f e r i n g , and r a r e l y comp a t i b l e s o c i a l systems embraced by t h e K a c h i n , concluded t h a t myth and r i t ual,  i n w h i c h he i n c l u d e d a l l knowledge o f t h e past and i t s f o r m a l  presenta-  t i o n , c o n s t i t u t e d a "language o f argument" and even a mechanism f o r d i s i n t e g r a t i o n o f a s o c i e t y (Leach, 1965: 2 7 8 ) . The G o l a , r e c o g n i z i n g i n h i s t o r y a mechanism f o r promoting e i t h e r s o l i d a r i t y o r d i s s e n s i o n , have p u b l i c t r u t h s and p r i v a t e t r u t h s .  P u b l i c t r u t h s , r e p r e s e n t i n g v a l u e s w h i c h t h e G o l a con-  c e i v e t o be i d e a l , c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e s o l i d a r i t y o f t h e G o l a s as a w h o l e , and t h e i r p r e s e n t a t i o n demands e x t e n s i v e compromise o f d i f f e r e n c e s o f o p i n i o n among groups. for  But h i s t o r y among t h e G o l a i s a p o l i t i c a l i n s t r u m e n t ,  used  t h e f u r t h e r a n c e o f i n t e r e s t s o f component groups, and t h e s e groups have  p r i v a t e t r u t h s , w h i c h o f t e n i n c o r p o r a t e f a c t s n o t r e v e a l e d p u b l i c l y , and t h e s e have as much s i g n i f i c a n c e t o i n d i v i d u a l G o l a p e o p l e as t h e p u b l i c t r u t h s i f n o t more (D'Azevedo, 1962: 3 4 ) .  6  The  use o f knowledge o f t h e past f o r p o l i t i c a l purposes i n t h e  p r e s e n t r e n d e r s t h e t a l e n t s and s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e s p e c i a l i s t c r i t i c a l l y important t o t h e community he r e p r e s e n t s , and a l s o a f f e c t s t h e content o f t h e h i s t o r y he r e v e a l s . recognition  Without t h e s o c i a l s t a n d i n g t h a t  from members o f t h e group and persons o u t s i d e i t , a man may  p o s s e s s knowledge  without o p p o r t u n i t y t o use i t e f f e c t i v e l y .  knowledge, e l d e r s , o r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s respect,  commands  o f p a r t i c u l a r groups, may n o t command  and may n o t be a b l e t o e x e r c i s e  mediate between d i s p u t a n t s ,  control.  They w i l l n o t be a b l e t o  c l a r i f y r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t have become confused,  or r e i n f o r c e t h e r . i d e n t i t y o f t h e group. content o f h i s t o r y f l u i d  Without  P o l i t i c a l necessity  ( c f . Henige, 1973).  may make t h e  Accepted knowledge o f t h e past  may a l s o be m o d i f i e d t o conform w i t h s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n s e x i s t i n g i n t h e p r e sent t h a t r a i s e problems demanding p r a c t i c a l r e s o l u t i o n . by  Bohannon among t h e T i v , and the newly confirmed s o c i a l f a c t s were, i n  that old  T h i s was observed  instance,  validated  paradoxically  by r e f e r e n c e t o a new genealogy - t h e  r e l a t i o n s h i p s h a v i n g been m o d i f i e d t o f i t t h e new f a c t by means o f a  r e v e r s e i n l o g i c (Bohannon, 1952: 312). The for  r e l a t i o n s h i p o f h i s t o r y t o s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e has i m p l i c a t i o n s  t h e forms o f h i s t o r y e x i s t i n g i n a c u l t u r e .  In a s o c i e t y with  d i f f e r e n t i a t e d component groups, e.g., one composed o f c l a n s , lineages,  sub-clans,  each w i l l be d i s t i n c t i n i d e n t i t y and r e l a t e d t o t h e o t h e r s i n  f o r m a l ways, and each w i l l have a d i s t i n c t h i s t o r y . sub-clan w i l l d i f f e r features  strongly  Even t h e h i s t o r y o f a  from h i s t o r i e s o f component l i n e a g e s  a r e s a l i e n t i n t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e l a r g e r group.  because d i f f e r e n t F o r example, among  7  t h e p e o p l e s l i v i n g i n t h e L u a p a l a v a l l e y i n A f r i c a , t h e r e a r e a number o f groups r e l a t e d i n t h i s f a s h i o n , and a number o f h i s t o r i e s , but no c o h e r e n t g e n e r a l h i s t o r y t h a t encompasses and o r g a n i z e s t h e p a s t s of a l l t h e r e l a t e d people i n t h e v a l l e y ( C u n n i s o n , 1951: 5 ) . H i s t o r i e s v a r y from one s o c i e t y t o a n o t h e r w i t h r e s p e c t t o c r i t e r i a o f r e l e v a n c e and canons o f h i s t o r i c a l t r u t h .  Conceptualization of  t i m e a l s o v a r i e s from one s o c i e t y t o a n o t h e r , and i n s o c i e t i e s where t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f h i s t o r y i s complex, from one k i n d o f h i s t o r y t o a n o t h e r . C a t e g o r i e s o f t i m e can be i n f e r r e d from a corpus of t r a d i t i o n s , but i n t h e h i s t o r i e s w h i c h s t r u c t u r e k i n s h i p r e l a t i o n s t h e d i f f e r e n c e between what Westerners  c o n c e i v e o f as p r e s e n t and p a s t may be m i n i m i z e d by t h e c o n t i n u a -  t i o n o f names and r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  Once e s t a b l i s h e d , t h e s e a r e p e r p e t u a t e d  and m a i n t a i n e d i n t h e c u r r e n t g e n e r a t i o n .  For example, among t h e L u a p a l a  v a l l e y p e o p l e s , t h e head of a s u b - c l a n , r e c i t i n g t h e e x p l o i t s o f a p r e d e c e s s o r , w i l l r e f e r t o him i n t h e f i r s t p e r s o n s i n g u l a r , thus merging t h e i r p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t i e s , s e p a r a t e d i n t i m e , i n t h e i d e n t i t y of t h e o f f i c e , w h i c h i s unchanging  (Cunnison 1951: 3 3 ) . I n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r v a l l e y t h e r e a r e two k i n d s of h i s t o r y - t h e  p e r s o n a l , c o h e r e n t h i s t o r i e s o f c l a n , s u b - c l a n and house, and i m p e r s o n a l , sporadic, universal h i s t o r i e s .  These have i m p l i c i t n o t i o n s of t i m e t h a t a r e  c o n t r a d i c t o r y (Cunnison 1951: 4 1 ) , but each person i n the s o c i e t y o p e r a t e s with both.  The p e r s o n a l h i s t o r i e s a r e not f i t t e d i n t o t h e t i m e - s c a l e im-  p l i e d by t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a u n i v e r s a l h i s t o r y .  Events i n a s u b - c l a n h i s t o r y  have a t e m p o r a l sequence, but each event i s seen i n r e l a t i o n o n l y t o t h e  8  other events w i t h i n that h i s t o r y .  U n l e s s an event w i t h i n a s u b - c l a n h i s t o r y  c o i n c i d e s w i t h a major event w i d e l y known i n t h e h i s t o r y of t h e v a l l e y as a whole, t h e s u b - c l a n h i s t o r y sequence i s s u f f i c i e n t unto i t s e l f .  Different  groups have d i f f e r e n t h i s t o r i e s ; w h i l e each immigrant group becomes g r a d u a l l y aware of t h e e v e n t s o f t h e v a l l e y ' s h i s t o r y , t h e group remembers l i t t l e  about  t h e t i m e b e f o r e i t came and i t s h i s t o r y thus has a d i f f e r e n t t i m e depth and a d i f f e r e n t s e t o f i n t e r n a l time sequences  from o t h e r groups.  I t i s not  n e c e s s a r y t o r e c o r d t i m e s o r epochs u n l e s s t h e y have been d i s t i n g u i s h e d by a memorable e v e n t . 1951: 3 2 ) .  The t i m e , w i t h o u t t h e e v e n t , i s m e a n i n g l e s s  (Cunnison,  The t i m e sense of t h e u n i v e r s a l h i s t o r y , t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t i t  o p e r a t e s a t a l l among t h e L u a p a l a p e o p l e s , i s of "a g r a d u a l s u c c e s s i o n of events from a somewhat nebulous and i n d e f i n a b l e t i m e , k a l e sana, l o n g l o n g ago, t o a d a t a b l e and p r e s e n t t i m e " ( C u n n i s o n , 1951:  28).  The G o l a sense of t i m e i s a l s o c o m p a r t m e n t a l i z e d and v a r i o u s . G e n e a l o g i e s p r o v i d e a framework i n space and t i m e f o r h i s t o r y p r e s e n t e d i n n a r r a t i v e form, but g e n e a l o g i e s a r e h i g h l y l o c a l i z e d , s u b j e c t t o t e l e s c o p i n g of g e n e r a t i o n s , and g e n e a l o g i c a l t i m e can g e n e r a l l y be f l e x i b l e i n d u r a t i o n . S i n c e d i s p u t e s i n w h i c h h i s t o r i c a l e v i d e n c e i s i n t r o d u c e d as p a r t of t h e p r o c e s s o f s e t t l e m e n t i n v o l v e l a n d c l a i m s and n e c e s s i t a t e r e f e r e n c e t o an obj e c t i v e t i m e s c a l e , t h e r e a r e w i d e l y known events a f f e c t i n g t h e G o l a and t h e i r n e i g h b o u r s w h i c h can be used as c r o s s - r e f e r e n c e s f o r g e n e a l o g i c a l d a t a . The g r e a t r u l e r s and major wars a r e known, and t h e i r t e m p o r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p t o one another remembered (D'Azevedo 1962:  32).  9  The  absence of w r i t i n g does not  i n h i b i t o r g a n i z a t i o n and  use  knowledge of the p a s t , and. exposure t o western h i s t o r i o g r a p h y does not methods i n d i g e n o u s t o n o n - l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s immediately or  of European systems of w r i t i n g and ated  change  fundamentally,  a l t h o u g h t h e s e cannot s u r v i v e the d e s t r u c t i o n of the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e While the s t r u c t u r e of a n o n - l i t e r a t e s o c i e t y has  of  remained i n t a c t ,  d a t i n g have been m o d i f i e d  and  itself.  aspects  incorpor-  i n t o e x i s t i n g i n d i g e n o u s systems. I n s o f a r as the p o l i t i c a l f u n c t i o n of knowledge of the past  in  such s o c i e t i e s i s dependent on the c a p a c i t y of the h i s t o r i e s to change i n content, and  the a d o p t i o n  u s i n g h i s t o r y , and  of w r i t i n g may  the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e i t r e i n f o r c e s .  s t u d i e d the T i v , they were b e g i n n i n g i n g g e n e a l o g i c a l knowledge. government o f f i c i a l s , but  constructing When Bohannon  to adopt w r i t i n g as a means of  P a r t l y t h i s was  one man  knowledge wanted to r e c o r d would p r e s e n t  endanger the system of  i n response to p r e s s u r e  with p a r t i c u l a r l y extensive  i t for posterity.  recordfrom  genealogical  Bohannon p r e d i c t e d t h a t  s e r i o u s problems f o r the p e r s i s t e n c e of T i v s o c i a l  this  organiza-  t i o n i n the f u t u r e , f o r the s t r u c t u r i n g of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s i n response to c u r r e n t c o n d i t i o n s depended on the m a l l e a b i l i t y , of g e n e a l o g i e s s u b t l e m o d i f i c a t i o n over time.  T h i s would be  impossible  and  their  i f i t became c u s -  tomary to c o n s u l t unchanging w r i t t e n r e c o r d s , r e p r e s e n t i n g , not a s i n g l e , p r o p e r , s t a t e of a f f a i r s , but time t h a t the genealogy was  the s t a t e of a f f a i r s as i t e x i s t e d at  w r i t t e n down (Bohannon 1952:  314).  the  10  Literate Societies;  Formal  Literate ists.  History  s o c i e t i e s have w r i t t e n h i s t o r i e s , produced by s p e c i a l -  In contemporary western s o c i e t y  t h e candidacy o f those who become  s p e c i a l i s t s i s based p a r t l y on s e l f - s e l e c t i o n and p a r t l y on e v a l u a t i o n by already trained  s p e c i a l i s t s o f t h e i r q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , e.g., academic p r e p a r a -  t i o n and i n t e l l e c t u a l p o t e n t i a l .  Even though t h e s e q u a l i f i c a t i o n s a r e not  s p e c i f i c a l l y s o c i a l , t h e i r p o s s e s s i o n o f t e n cannot be d i v o r c e d from membership i n a particular western h i s t o r i a n ' s  s o c i a l c l a s s or access to wealth. training  i s f o r m a l , but u n l i k e  The contemporary  h i s counterpart i n s o c i -  e t i e s w i t h o u t l i t e r a c y , he i s seldom t h e p o l i t i c a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h e s o c i a l group t o which he b e l o n g s . may a l s o w r i t e h i s t o r y  trained  i n western s o c i e t i e s and may command an a u d i e n c e .  I t has been s a i d t h a t the  Those who have n o t been f o r m a l l y  l i t e r a c y , accompanied by o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n o f  p a s t and t h e p e r c e p t i o n o f i n c o n s i s t e n c y between past and p r e s e n t , has  made p o s s i b l e  t h e d i s t i n c t i o n between h i s t o r y  and myth.  I n myth t h e past i s  seen as a r e f l e c t i o n o f and c h a r t e r f o r t h e p r e s e n t ; i n h i s t o r y seen o b j e c t i v e l y .  t h e past i s  (Goody and Watt, 1962-3: p. 321). The i n t e r p l a y o f  p r e s e n t and p a s t , o b j e c t i v i t y and s u b j e c t i v i t y  i s c r i t i c a l to the h i s t o r i a n ' s  work and t o h i s own a n a l y s i s  o f h i s work and i t s purposes.  r e s e n t a t i o n o f past c u l t u r e s  i s an acknowledged i d e a l b u t t h e r e i s r e c o g n i -  t i o n among h i s t o r i a n s  that  Objective rep-  absolute o b j e c t i v i t y i s not p o s s i b l e .  Nonethe-  l e s s i t i s considered necessary a t a l l l e v e l s of historiography. The the  proper e v a l u a t i o n o f s o u r c e s i s o f paramount importance i n  exercise of objective  control  over r e s e a r c h .  Written history  i s based  11  p r i m a r i l y on w r i t t e n r e c o r d s .  The v a g a r i e s of memory may  be d i s t r u s t e d  and  r e m i n i s c e n c e s a c c e p t e d f u l l y o n l y when v e r i f i e d by o t h e r , w r i t t e n , r e c o r d s . No form o f r e c o r d i s w i t h o u t f l a w . d u a l o r group w h i c h produced aspects.  Each r e f l e c t s t h e b i a s e s o f t h e i n d i v i -  i t , and each i s complete o n l y i n c e r t a i n  The e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e r e c o r d s themselves depends on t h e know-  l e d g e of t h e p a s t c u l t u r e w h i c h produced  them, and t h e i n f o r m a t i o n p r e s e r v e d  i n a l l of the r e c o r d s can, i n i t s t o t a l i t y , p r o v i d e i n s i g h t i n t o the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f each k i n d of r e c o r d .  Manuals o f i n s t r u c t i o n i n t h e e v a l u a t i o n  o f s o u r c e s a r e b a s i c t o o l s i n t h e t r a i n i n g o f contemporary i a n s ( c f . S h a f e r , 1969), and an h i s t o r i a n ' s t h e p e o p l e who  produced  t o h i s whole approach  western  i n s i g h t i n t o t h e b i a s e s of  t h e r e c o r d s w i t h w h i c h he must work can be ( e . g . , B e r k h o f e r , 1969:  histor-  central  118-145).  O b j e c t i v i t y i s n e c e s s a r y i n w o r k i n g w i t h t h e s o u r c e s t o an e x t e n t beyond c o n t i n u o u s e v a l u a t i o n of t h e t y p e of d a t a t h e y p r o v i d e and validity.  The p a s t c u l t u r e i s t o be seen i n i t s own  terms and  their  presented  i n t h e s e terms r a t h e r than i n t h e terms o f t h e p r e s e n t c u l t u r e , i . e . , t h e one t o w h i c h t h e h i s t o r i a n b e l o n g s .  In the w r i t i n g of h i s t o r y "the  tendency  t o see t h e p a s t as a r e f l e c t i o n o f t h e p r e s e n t " o r t o p e r m i t p r e s e n t v a l u e s t o d i s t o r t p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e p a s t i s t o be a v o i d e d ( T h o l f s e n , 1967: One h i s t o r i a n whose immediate t o p i c was  250).  c o l o n i a l h i s t o r y has s t a t e d empha-  tically: E v e r y major advance i n E n g l i s h h i s t o r i c a l w r i t i n g has been due t o t h e r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t t h e assumptions on w h i c h t h e men of a d i f f e r e n t time a c t e d a r e d i f f e r e n t from our own. (West, 1966: 654).  12  Time i s an i m p o r t a n t concept f o r t h e f o r m a l h i s t o r i a n .  I n h i s work i t  i m p l i e s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y a s t a g e i n a p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r e and change.  "His-  t o r i c a l t h i n k i n g d e a l s w i t h t h i s fundamental c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f human e x i s tence, being - in-time."  ( T h o l f s e n , 1967: 2 4 7 ) . I n d i v i d u a l p e o p l e , d i s -  p a r a t e e v e n t s , must be r e l a t e d t o one a n o t h e r i n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e i r t i m e , i . e . , t h e c u l t u r e t o which they belonged.  But changes i n them must be t r a c e d ,  and t h e d i v e r s i t y and c o n t i n u i t y o f c u l t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and e v e n t s o v e r t i m e must be i n t e r p r e t e d . In o r d e r t o i n t e r p r e t change, t h e h i s t o r i a n r e q u i r e s p e r s p e c t i v e , i n t h e sense o f removal from t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e events he s t u d i e s .  "The  o b j e c t o f any m e a n i n g f u l h i s t o r y i s t o make some a s p e c t o f t h e p a s t i n t e l l i g i b l e . . . t o d i s c l o s e t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f events such t h a t t h e y r e v e a l b o t h t h e i s s u e s w h i c h were i m p o r t a n t f o r t h o s e t h e n l i v i n g and t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h e i r outcome f o r what came a f t e r them" ( L e f f , 1969: 1 4 ) . I n one sense, p e r s p e c t i v e a i d s o b j e c t i v i t y - removal from t h e c o n t e x t o f events a l l o w s one t o see t h e t o t a l i t y o f i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s among t h o s e e v e n t s and among t h e p e o p l e who p a r t i c i p a t e d .  The h i s t o r i a n i s f r e e d from t h e s u b j e c t i v i t y  t h a t an agent o f one o r many o f t h e events would have. and  H i s v i s i o n i s broader,  different. But removal from t h e s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t i n w h i c h t h e  events o c c u r r e d o f t e n means n o t much more than t h a t t h e h i s t o r i a n i s a b e a r e r o f h i s own c u l t u r e .  H i s p e r s p e c t i v e i s r o o t e d i n concepts b a s i c t o  t h a t c u l t u r e , and from t h e s e he i s never w h o l l y f r e e .  He cannot be. I f  he were, what he w r o t e would make no sense t o t h o s e who r e a d h i s monographs.  13  And  - a c l o s e l y r e l a t e d p o i n t - i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f h i s t o r i c a l events which  g a i n widespread acceptance i n the h i s t o r i a n ' s c u l t u r e may r e f l e c t b e l i e f s and  do  t r a d i t i o n s t h a t are part of t h a t c u l t u r e , and  s a r i l y a p a r t of the c u l t u r e about which he has w r i t t e n . widely divergent  so because they  subjects  as the h i s t o r i c a l J e s u s and  than of the s u b j e c t s  neces-  T r e a t i s e s on  the h i s t o r y of  B r i t i s h p a r l i a m e n t have been shown to be r e f l e c t i o n s of the age of t h e i r a u t h o r s , r a t h e r  not  and  themselves ( T h o l f s e n ,  such  the values 1967:  251-254). Historiography  varies with culture.  Western h i s t o r i o g r a p h y  has  changed over time, as the p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r e s i n f l u e n c i n g Western h i s t o r i o graphers have changed. both long by  and  Chinese h i s t o r i o g r a p h y  e s t a b l i s h e d , b o t h based on w r i t t e n r e c o r d s ,  and  -  both c o n t r o l l e d  s p e c i a l i s t s - have, n o n e t h e l e s s , fundamental d i f f e r e n c e s . The  be  Western h i s t o r i o g r a p h y  b a s i c d i f f e r e n c e between myth and  t h a t myth p r e s e n t s the past  sent  are not  as a c h a r t e r  But  l i n k between past implied.  The  and  present  and  Watt,  intelligible,  a  present, overriding t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s , i s n e c e s s a r i l y  o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n o f the p a s t ,  and  the r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t  past  c u l t u r e s have been f u n d a m e n t a l l y d i f f e r e n t from p r e s e n t ones, does not the n e c e s s i t y  pre-  i s a means f o r  (Goody and  i n L e f f ' s statement t h a t h i s t o r y must be and  been s a i d to  f o r the p r e s e n t - past  c l e a r l y distinguished - while historiography  e l u c i d a t i o n of the d i f f e r e n c e s between past loc. c i t . ) .  h i s t o r y has  f o r the e x p l a n a t i o n  of t h e s e d i f f e r e n c e s i n terms  to members of the h i s t o r i a n ' s c u l t u r e , nor to demonstrate through the use  does i t remove the  of h i s t o r y , how  remove  intelligible  temptation  the p r e s e n t became as i t i s .  14  The development o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s from c o l o n y t o w o r l d power, t h e p r o g r e s s o f B r i t i s h p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n from f e u d a l s t a t e t o c o n s t i t u t i o n a l monarchy a r e f a m i l i a r t o every N o r t h American h i g h s c h o o l student who s t u d i e s h i s t o r y , and t h e c o n c e p t s o f development and p r o g r e s s separated  cannot be  from t h e i n f o r m a t i o n he i s g i v e n . F o r m a l h i s t o r y i s even more c l e a r l y t o be seen as a c h a r t e r f o r  the present  o r d e r i n t h e r e w r i t i n g o f h i s t o r y by newly independent n a t i o n s  f o r m e r l y under c o l o n i a l r u l e .  Those i n t e r e s t e d