The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.


Kishigami, Nobuhiro
Pollution and Marine Resources in the Canadian Arctic:
Current Issues and the Role of Cultural Anthropologists
Guan, Jinping
The Culture of Drinking Tea during the Wei-Jin-Nanbei
Goto, Akira
Choices and Decision-Making in Technology: The Shell-
Bead Craft of the Solomon Islands as an Example
Savelle, James M.
McCartney, Allen P.
The Application of Bowhead Whale Bone Architectural
Indices to Prehistoric Whale Bone Dwelling Sites in
Alaska and the Canadian Arctic

Pollution and Marine Resources in the Canadian Arctic:
Current Issues and the Role of Cultural Anthropologists
Nobuhiro Kishigami

In this paper, I describe pollution problems of marine resources, especially sea mammals in the Canadian Arctic resulting from the intrusion of persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, and radionuclides from regions external to the Arctic. Then, I show how the UN, Arctic countries, the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, the federal government of Canada, the provincial government of Quebec, the Tapirisat of Canada, the Kativik regional government, and Inuit in Nunavik and Nunavut villages have responded to these pollutants. A significant gap between the Inuit in the arctic villages and other actors is observed in terms of perception, behavior and practical responses concerning the pollution problems. Finally, the important roles of cultural anthropologists in improving the situation and solving the problems will be discussed. I argue that arctic anthropologists in organic cooperation with other actors concerned with the problems, can contribute to improving and solving the problems as cultural mediators between the local Inuit and outside societies, and as advisors for both the local people and government officials in planning and implementing the co-management of wildlife resources in the arctic.
Key Words: Canadian Arctic, marine resources, pollution, Inuit, cultural anthropologists

The Culture of Drinking Tea during the Wei-Jin-Nanbei Dynasties
Guan Jinping

For the history of tea from the Song Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty of Lu Yu, there are few documents as important as Lu Yu’s “The Tea Sutra”. However, attempts to describe the history of tea from its origins fail to take account of the Wei-Jin-Nanbei Dynasties which were prior to the Tang Dynasty in which Lu Yu wrote “The Tea Sutra”. “The Tea Sutra” itself says that the Wei-Jin-Nanbei Dynasties had an extreme importance in relation to the establishment of the habit of drinking tea. With a close investigation of the historical documents of that same period, I observe the trends surrounding the elegant and frugal thought in the culture of drinking tea, and afterwards I make clear the circumstances of the acceptance of tea drinking in the various social strata. Putting together these articles and rediscussing them, I conduct a criticism of these historical documents.
Key Words: The Wei-Jin-Nanbei Dynasties, tea drinking, elegance, social strata, frugality

Choices and Decision-Making in Technology:
The Shell-Bead Craft of the Solomon Islands as an Example
Akira Goto

No study of the technology of making artifacts should be limited to the identification of raw materials, tools and work stages, since artisans have a detailed knowledge of materials and equipment as well as a kind of blueprint of the form and structure of the intended artifacts. Artifacts are not created, however, just by imposing “blueprints” on the material (e.g., Ingold 2000a). Technical knowledge must be used to operate on materials with tools in a series of gestures through a working process (e.g., Lemonnier 1992).
Artisans, with trained physical skills, continuously dialog with the quality of their materials, cope with contingent problems, and aim to arrive at an intended form within an acceptable range. In this process, a variety of decisions are made (e.g., Carr 1995). Those decisions are, however, hierarchically organized, ranging from almost unconscious (or automatic) bodily responses to conscious and planned behavior and judgments. Also the decision-hierarchy structure has variations, according to the physico-chemical quality of the raw materials and the form and structure of the intended artifacts.
The production of shell-bead artifacts in the Langalanga Lagoon of Malaita Island of the Solomons consists of two stages: 1) a subtractive process like flint knapping or wood carving: shaping shells into discs and beads, and 2) an additive process like basketry or textile weaving: arranging shellbeads into shell money and ornaments (Goto 1996). In the first stage, the artisans, with trained physical skills, break shells, shape broken shells into disks, drill the disks and file them into round beads. The surfaces of some shells are polished before being drilled, while others are heated to redness before arrangement. In these operations, several individual choices of manufacturing methods and stages may be observed.
Today complex channels for obtaining raw materials (shells) and unfinished products (shell discs and beads) have been formed by purchasing, gifting and exchanging of materials, and recruiting labor. The artisans cope with various social demands (e.g., bride price) and many other contingent problems through these alternative channels. As a result, the decision-hierarchy concerning shell-bead craft today involves many alternative pathways.
In conclusion, we should have a holistic view of the technical process that ranges from unconscious, conditioned physical skills to more conscious decisions and “organizational innovations” concerning modes of production and circulation. The technological system could be understood as an institution that frames the technical knowledge, perception and behavior of artisans.
Key Words: technological choice, decision-making, chaîns opératoire, channeling, institution, shell-money, shell-beads, Solomon Islands

The Application of Bowhead Whale Bone Architectural Indices
to Prehistoric Whale Bone Dwelling Sites in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic
James M. Savelle* and Allen P. McCartney**

An architectural utility index for bowhead whale bone, as originally devised by Savelle (1997), is modified and applied to 5 excavated and 20 unexcavated winter sites in the Canadian Arctic and Alaska at which dwellings constructed of bowhead whale bone occur. The results indicate that, overall, the index is a valid predictor of specific bone element use in winter dwelling construction. In addition, the results suggest that the extent of use of individual middle and lower ranked elements was apparently determined by relative numbers of bowhead carcasses available to individual site occupants. Finally, although absolute bone numbers are lower, bone element patterns in the surface bones of unexcavated sites are very similar to those of excavated sites, suggesting that the detailed recording of surface whale bone will give a reasonably accurate indication of total site whale bone use.

 * McGill University, Canada
** University of Arkansas, U.S.A.
Key Words: bowhead whale bone, architectural utility indices, Alaska, Canadian Arctic