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326 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 have broken faith had he lived while so many died.' According to the article on Sir Sam Steele, he was born in Medonte Township, Upper Canada. The author, who lives in Edmonton, may well not have known what Ontario county Medonte Township was (and still is) in, but someone at DeB should have. (It's in Simcoe County.) The editors at DeB have been strikingly ingenious at finding their authors from a vast range of possibilities, specialties, and talents; what has surfaced from this process of selection, still mysterious, is a treasure trove. By no means all the authors are historians; some of the best pieces are not by historians at all butby people who, unlike some historians, at leastknow how to write. The editing of all of these pieces is formidable and exacting, 'What's the authority for this statement?' being one of the highlyinconvenient questions posed all too frequently by editors. The editors also like to include poetry, but they tend to exclude poetry which, however curious historically, cannot meet standards of taste and propriety. The following poem has impeccable historical credentials; it was found by the late national archivist Dr Wilfrid Smith in Nova Scotia, who vouched for its authenticity; it was to be in the article on the Marquis of Lome: The Princess Louise Lifted up her chemise One cold and frosty morn; Said she, 'I've a thing That's fit for a King, But it's all for the Marquis of Lome.' Perhaps it's as well that propriety triumphed in so stately a volume. But Wilfrid Smith's delightful discovery ought not to be lost to posterity and so, greatly daring, this reviewer puts it in here. (P.B. WAITE) Marvin Cohodas. Basket Weavers for the California Curio Trade: Elizabeth and Louise Hickox University of Arizona Press and Southwest Museum 1997ยท xviii, 362. us $39.95 During the first half of the twentieth century, two weavers working in the aboriginal basketry tradition ofnorthern California's Lower K1amath River region produced a body of work that has been acclaimed for its exceptional technical and aesthetic merits. Between 1908 and 1934 the duo, mother and daughter Elizabeth and Louise Hickox, worked under exclusive contract to the Pasadena curio dealer Grace Nicholson. As a result of this patronage relationship the Hickoxes' creative output-nearly a hundred baskets in all - ended up in the hands of a variety of affluent collectors and prominent HUMANITIES 327 museums. Although both Hickox women were of mixed Native and EuroAmerican ancestry, the fact that theirbaskets were very individualized, and the rather unusual social and economic factors that informed the production and sale of their work, mean that these baskets have frequently been used to define the boundaries of their region's First Nations basketry tradition.. While it might be expected that this particularsubject would be explored in a profusely illustrated coffee-table book, Marvin Cohodas has instead chosen to use the Hickoxes and their work as the basis for a social critique that confronts a variety of topics. Prominent among these is a review of the perceived interpretive biases that have informed the disciplines of anthropology and art history throughout the past century. Cohodas argues that anthropology has generally sought to define living aboriginal peoples in terms of a non-existent past. This methodology has promoted the myth that indigenous cultures are static societies framed by unending and unchanging traditions. The discourse has attempted to eliminate evidence of diverse intercultural institutions operating within such societies. Cohodas suggests that many of the ethnological texts which have appeared to describe 'traditional' Native American cultures have instead been constructed for the express purpose of portraying aboriginal Americans as behaving in fashions that are antithetical to the practices of their EuroAmerican neighbours. Cohodas fmther conc1udes that art-historical methodologies are based on elitist attitudes. These have marginalized a multitude of creative expressions through biases that respond to the racial, class, andlor gender status ofindividual artists. He finds that anthropology and art history have supported each other with complementaryideologies thathave divided the world into a duality of broad racial divisions: Euro-Americans and Others. The disciplines have also worked together to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 326-328
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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