A Spanish Tapestry: Town and Country in Castile

A Spanish Tapestry: Town and Country in Castile

A Spanish Tapestry: Town and Country in Castile

A Spanish Tapestry: Town and Country in Castile

Excerpt

The image of a discipline as it once was continues to represent it long after its outlook, its methods, its techniques, and even the content of its research, have changed. Anthropology is still generally thought of as exclusively the study of primitive peoples, as barbarology; and this is understandable because till recently anthropologists did mostly study primitive peoples, and their main theoretical advances were made by such studies, which also shaped the terminology of the subject.

Slowly, and largely by force of circumstance, we have broken away from this exclusiveness of terrain and interest, and in doing so we have had to abandon our privilege of each having his own little private reserve, some primitive tribe in Central Africa or New Guinea, which no other anthropologist has visited or is ever likely to visit. How often has one heard an anthropologist speak of 'my people'. Also, now that we have begun to conduct research among civilized and literate peoples our studies overlap with those pursued by scholars in other branches of learning, the historian and the student of literature, for example. The anthropologist has much to gain from these associations. The study of a people's institutions is the more valuable if their development can be traced and if they are represented by the people themselves, as they see them, in a literature.

Some excellent studies of civilized peoples have already been made by anthropologists, in India, in the Arab lands, and elsewhere. It has been for them a more difficult task than might appear, for they had received their training for the most part in an anthropology that was based on research among primitive peoples, so they had to adjust methods of observation and inquiry, and also terminology, to meet a somewhat different situation.

Studies in Europe, almost all of village life, have also begun to take their place on the shelves of our anthropological libraries. There were, of course, studies of the kind before the profes-

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