Seminar on Culture Personality, Columbia University, April 17-May 15, 1941 (Folder 5 of 5)


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Seminar on Culture Personality, Columbia University, April 17-May 15, 1941 (Folder 5 of 5)
Series Title:
Tapirape Project Files
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Wagley, Charles
Charles Wagley ( donor )
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Box: 7
Folder: Seminar on Culture Personality, Columbia University, April 17-May 15, 1941 (Folder 5 of 5)


Subjects / Keywords:
Anthropology--United States--History
Galvao, Eduardo Eneas
Gurupa (Para, Brazil)--Photographs
Indians of South America--Brazil
Tapirape Indians
Tapirape Indians--Photographs


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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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Full Text

Ulay 16th, 1941
Dr. Kardiner

This being our last meeting this year I would like to wind up
by giving you a very convincing talk on the Tapirapeg but I an afraid
that I am going to disappoint you* To.pirapo culture doos not work out

with the same preciseness as -arquesan or Tanala did, and I think vw

one to a tacit agreement that wa were going to be very ho-nest about

this and in the event we struck a sag vie would imake an honest admdssion

of our difficulties. Of course I am very eager to place nostof the blame
for this on Dr. Wagley, and I am sura ho will vant to nang it rieht

back to me. As I wTa vmorking with this culture I noticed one thing--

maybo lbeouso I aa. not .as sure of it now as I -4as soeft years e.~o irhen I
:x knor loss--I found it more diffloult to picture the actual live of

the people than I did vhon I was -.orking vthout the aid of biographies

arA had a-free hand So that if I hadn't had the e;perieneoo I'havo had

in the past four years I might have done a vory much better job thfni I

have done nowr
This is not ,entirely to my dioreodit- or to the r-method z~ u n or

as saosn ,sx x to the f-ot that th, d m .ta are w.:rone. For there are

places where bo-th are lEki.n.g X ill mEntion the places heore I had

special difficulty so that when 'I givo you this aooount you can anticipate

whore the difficulties are goixg' to arioe. I had very little difficulty
in dra'.,ing up a consistent piituies of the i~3ik :imntitutions that seemed

tn flow alonm, vatr Tnielv. .hen it oa=3 to the study of" the religion,

suoh as it 'as, I also ensountored little difficulty, But in the study

of the folklore I struc,'k a snag, for thie staple reason that Oonstellations

appeared there for whioh I oould not account according to the w..othod-thlw

enormously over-developed homooiexuality for which o-, find "no reason.

They tell you a story about how probably it's that the (stenog missed) .

* .direction from which it is likely to come, but a homosexuality complex

so extensive moans there mts be living experiences from which it can be

traud down and I did not get hkx this.

Dr. Linton: haix p the possibility of borrowing myths from other

societies, etc. and the borrowers might regard them simply as stories

vithouoin solous of the homosexual content,
Dr. Wagloys On this point the mnythology/doos not change generation
after generation and I had the report of a boensh? and a distinct homo-
sexual relationship which is an overt expression in hism the society.

Dr. K.a And you also know the important fact that this was

tolerated, although it did not produce anybody of high prestige.
Dr. W.: And on the other hand of course, Dr. Linton's point,
the Tapirape share (.and this is a point I think is rather importa.nt--a
mythological constellation which is Tupi in general and which is tied up
viith the Tapirape, who I interpret as a timid people running from their
enemies . identical constellation in myithologfy tied up with the
most sxaimaa famous canunibals among Aenrionaa Cndinna, the most vicious,
lusty cannibals of the :hole two oodrim.uatS. And they are extinct inci-
dentally but we have thc.t in Portugesoe French documents for the Sixteenth
Century. And historically that is one of the interesting things about
the Tapirape. I hope that answers Dr. Linton's question.
With regard to the borrowing of stories like that, tendonoies over

long periods would indicate that answers something. And here in oonsal-
dering this homosexuality complex--lot us call it that--although I can

back it up (and I am sorry aDr Msalow isn't here) with animal experiments

to show that under theconditions that exist in the Tapirape Homosexuallty

should exist. The only difficulty in rmking a theoretical reconstruction

of it is that the individual does not ?encounter thdaoe confliots a little

later in life and that is the difficult problem for mea to account for

it on the basis of the intense struggles of the males between eaoh other.
That such a constellation exists I can prove to you in the analysis of

any hysteria in our society where no homosexual perversion of any kind

has ever been known to the individual, he will have these dreams which

indicate uncoonseious attempts to solve certain egoistic problems by a

method whereby the individual takes on a homosexual character. And in


our society there is no intense conflict between males. The difficulty

I have is in x reconciling it with the fact that the sexual development

of the males is free until the age of t-n and it is hard for me to

believe that a homosexual complex can start at that age. But I mean your

gvuess about this is as good as mine. I mainly pose the question to point

out where a difficulty lies and I will & ortly tell you data from whioh

it was derived.

Well, frao thepoint of view of the life cycle of the individual
:we noticed a remarkable contrast between males and females.a comparison

with thefemales the oar/eer of the male was marked by many more changes

in adaptation than was the case with the female. (Instances cited by

Dr. K., who instructed stenog. to omit since they were in last seminar).
Now in the case of the smles we haid a rather unique situation* Vory good
atorrnal care predisposes the individual with a strong ego formation

and a very dtrong attachment to th their and maternal objects and . .

This was a source of criticil m of our society. Sexual development is

greatly impeded by other taboos and 1,=i here I would likQ iA you to saxti

reflect on the question so to if a society has evolved in a certain way

vhat can be the use of sexual taboos? And I think this gives us some

indication of its uses in3socioty. it conditions the development of the

boy in the society and makes for a strong del opmaont of the sexual

impulses; they are freely Tuseable in so far as the ego situation is

concerned but not in so far as external obstacles are concerned* These

afe first of all incest tabooss he cannot approa.ah a near maternal relative,

but he has access to .other girls. Second, the period of abstinence

botn.een 10 and 40, but it can be breached at the expense of bd ng soratohed.

Is that right?
Dr. W.i Yes. If I.1 rrnember, the point I would like to make oi

that he does not follow out ,the taboos* Eo can break them and does,

Dr. ;, : One of the considerations you did not mention iand hioh

is worth stressing is-Aaethr or not there are any supernatural or any

anxieties -with which the individual can be threatened. The little child



in our society who masturbates will be threatened by saying that he will
go orazy. And the third situation is the very strong completion thoro

is between boys and other boys and between married men where the mioisty

system may be used to suppress hostility. Apparently that .is extremely

strong and there is a lot of evidemne to indicate suppreasioa of hootilitie

between the males isthe major issue and they noed to do this beoauseo of

the necessity for cooperation in communal and possibly individual enter-


So far as the woman is concerned -x external obstnaclp
very much
her importance becorns/inflated as the food provider. but her fidelity

cannot be counted upon. The only effect this can have is to aoo-ntuate

the jealousy among tho mon. Pxteronml obstaoles which prevent the free

development of the ego operate le:3s against the wooen. . Now

note for example, here's a bit of evidence whichh indicates that this

hostility is externa suppresseed in *oles; he does not oxpreos his hostility;
when he catches his wife in infidelity as is the custom in our society.

Be exOpresses it to-ward the womnan. USe -s had a very polite conversation
,with 'xaxaaf the man that took his wifes and then he beat the vwife

Incidentally, those nmn 'ho boat their 'yives in our society always have

tho sami reason--that the fear of the msIles is much greater than it is

toward the women and this he does by punishing her, or in this instance

here's another thing ;which adds to tie vicious cycle. It gives him an

incentive to do the same thing to another -m n's 7,dfe. AMd all this takes

place without any really serious shortp.go of women. The whole situation

is created by the fact that thn. women is accessible at all ties. That

is'one of the things that ag-gravates the jealousy between the meno

The ccnsequences seema to be the tolloivings First, that the

phallic attributes of the male will be greatly over-estimated* This

does not need to be the oaso as re saw irn Tarquesas where the ego

has strong development and strong conflicts but nevertheless phallio


attributes did not appear. You will find in the mythology references

to x penises so long that they have to carry them over their shoulders.

Of course these are very bad people NI a o whre the phallic attributes
of the male are so greatly enhanced you can be certain that kesy will
coexist vwth it abnormal sensitivity on the subject of masouline 7. ,

--a feeling of shame at having a small penis; this is a great danger in

the man. The whole interplay t not between the males and females, not

at all, but between the males and the female suffers in the fact that

she is actually disparaged as a sexual object. And third, you would

expect that every possible derivative of masculine attributes will be

greatly enhanced in a society w ere there iS no rireat subsistence con.

flicts-the struggle for prestige ia really nothing more than a couple of

trinkets--are ways of eopreasing the great concern over masculine attri-

butes. Now vfn viien a situation like this exists you can be sure that

unless thsre are some ourbh of nonT kind the society couldn't exist very
long. The males would kill each other off. Well, can you suggest any

.vontns through whinh iis ean be o.nnelized'? 1hat becomes of this

normal hostility bettreen themales? One of than v. have already mentioned--

the fact that the zIas e.-ercices his prerogatives to cheat all the times

This is extremely comono yovu kno from the stnersitatitions ( eTitutions)

mal mostly indioati.ons of the faot that their wives wore unfaithful to

them. And also if the father is unfaithful then the child will suffer*
The-e are all
/All efforts to channelize hostility between the mxles.

Dr. Linton* E4hat do you .think in this connection of the Thunder


I cam oing to come to that. Now Dr. Waglqj did not Kivo ub. at

least I don't recall, any vory lengthy explanation of the moiety system,

and the moiety system is a little bit unclear to me. But from rhat I know.

it seems to e it has the function of lessening the hostility of the

men toward oaoh other by compelling them to be cooperative.


Dr. Wagleyr In particular X stressed some aspects of competition

in how much work one moiety group oan do,, oto. But also there were
races between moeity groups in vbich practically no attention was paid
to which side wins. Simply a man takes off running and they do not even

run in relays so common to the surrouAding peoples who do have icg highly

7. relay races. The other point of competition I remember is vwrestling

between tapirape. Again they have borrowed wrestling from the Cara.a.

but I think in termsof this the historical point of view asx:x it
has a great deal of meaning, just as in Tehatland, and in this the Tapirape

have borrowed it but they don't like to wrestle. One way of making! a

man accept a challenge is to run at him with a burning stick and he has

to grasp it and the challenge is accep-ted. If he runs away the challenge

isn t accepted but sz it isiretty hard to run at that point* Two lines

,,would be standing up amnd they on;e stood around for half an hour trying

to got up one virestlins match, but the contract with the Caraja isvory
groat. It isnot competitive.

Dr. K1 How about the cooperative side of the moiety system?
They do things in oo.-m'a.

Dr. Wes They do, Iand it's ( uite cooperative, They clear out

large gardens and they go on cooperative hunts.

Dr. K.- And when isthe boy inducted into the moiety system?
Theoretically it begins at birth, but f't doesn't begin his

active life till he is e.ble to take part in the work.

Dr. K.: But in the moiety systcM.ho- learns what communal viork.

means? So it's/vary distinct effort to channeolie cooperative effort
where the penalty* of lack of cooperation are going to be felt by evTry

individual* Please bear in mind the question I originally brought up,

'nat's the source of the horaosexual complex in the society, and that

this is a tentative explanation, iot and st I am not very certain abo t it.


Yes, I have a note hare abous many indicators of masculine

anxiety--and of the woman's infidelity and also further indication

of it which I will cite you in one myth that the hostility was dis-

placed onto the child and this is one of the sources from ,ihich I

would derive- e5-y the infanticide. because the child is very

often represented by the male and the female as a naliciousobjeoo that
eats you up from within. And ne:irotic males also very frequently have
yaMIasanSt l s t t sim hypochondriacal anxieties, fear of being eaten
up. So that the hostility originally felt toward the woman is often

%xrhfm displaced on the : child and this in turn leads to an additional

sot of compensations to the child in those rituals and taboos to. safe-

guard its security. Wouldn't you subscribe to thnt idea, Dr. WaRley4

that the infanticidre in this society is not motivated by eoonomio reasons?

Dr* W.: Yes. That is the thing I don't understand. They phrase
it economicallyand I can't figure any . (?)

Dr. Kt Well, soeo of the studies of neurotic males in our

society xmsm the report they give is exactly the same one, yet *h= in

most instances that isnot the case at alll

Dr. W7 On the other hand. in teriasof hunting--the idea of

b.. ng hungry not bein- .tied up with just eating but being tied up with

a luxury food like meat As derived from hunting, It would make it very

difficult for one num to support three children end give them meat, so

that I think I would say the Taeiraps say ihen they are eating this

poor diet of garden products that they are hungry: so that in a sonse I

7xmt had the feeling that hun;,er was attached to a variety and to meat,
something above just being biologically hungry. A- d in termseof that

it would be hard to support more them siiRoso" %UR there would be an
eoo-:omic motivation there.

Dr. K.: It could be justified on those grounds, .but there is

a difference between a justifictation and a mzod motivation. That is,


after a st* cixxdpX thing is done for a certain series of reasons then

you say I did it for this or that reason.

Dr. W.:. I would take that back (?), it's a motivation.
Dr. K.: How often does anxiety over food lead to infoatioide?

Dr. Lintonw I think it works sat with fair frequency with

general shortage of food, but here you find it is gonorally for keeping

down the population. There is no selsotion here, apparently either

Dr. W.: May I interrupt for a minute'I In the wrestling matches

Miss Lewis? vho has been typing my notes remindss me that xKmuaz the man

you challenge is the .man mho has been the lover of your wife.

Dr. K.s That is exactly as it should be. By the way there's

another very Important point. Tou wero stressing the scarcity of food.

1ow3 don't forget a point you yourself stressed frequently. that these

people have a complete identification between the use of eating and

the use of sorieul intercourne. The invitation is, "Come, let me eat you."
In the mythology the maloes invite each other to be devoured.

( Stenog. m-lssed some of quick interchange' here)I

Dr. W. 'Nell, that was just my translation;': there miTht be

another word for it.

Dr. K.: Well, hcn: do they know what they're talking about?

Dr. W, I might have mad a mistake there.

Dr K.s Well, that is very fortunately

In other words there are a good many channels hero

where the hostility is expressed, oan be expressed toward other males

but not in a way to disrupt the society. It is partly taken out on the

child--the concept of the child devouring the mother is very common.
Dr. Duboiss Don't you rot into a peculiar dilemma in talking about

strong influences toward the development of a strong ego bX and then the

opposite of hostility toward the child?


QInfition2 Doasn't the hostility drdin itself out in infantioide

and isn't carried over toward the. child allowed to lively

Dr. K.s Apparently the temptation is to carry it over but to

displace it upon the male in the form of food taboos and a great maay

actual inconveniences, so that some of the motives for hostility in the

child are in the form of actual inconveniences. But I think they derive

it from another source--it's not the seyusl hunger of the malo that suffer

because apparently there is plenty of opportunity, but it's the constant

threat to the male& prestige and they value thoir masculinity that's

threatened. Those are two different thin.s. In the Marcuesas there a different thing, where there was also strong ccapotition between,

the males for the fVes- l which (l1so finally wound up in a strong

hostility but it wis chocked .

Dr. Wagleys I don't really understand the chocks* It strikes
mu that after the birth of the child/taboo would cause more hcrtility*

I don't quite see how they cheek hostility.

Dr. K.: 7'a are both talking of hostility of the father to-ward

the child? I am I afraid I an not king myself clear. You have the

idea I am speaking of overt, expressed hostility. I am speaking of the

constellationsiAth whichh the individual works. go does not express this

hostility to the child. You will find very often tfs that such hostility

is expressed in over-solicitude2 the daughter who is constantly walking

around in a dither when h.r mother he.s a headaches it 'looks like great

concern and it is, but fed all the time by a strong urge to be free or

the mother. And the fact that you noticed parents very friendly to

the child doesn't contradict what I said.

Dr W. That b,,ilds up your poiut.

Dr. X.*: No, if you argue that vway you oan get to the point where

love means hate and vice versa. It is not quite as chaotic as that.

that it was
Dr. Dubois. You said kcrm wa~s the father that scratched the

boy and it is the mother who brings the boy's bath at midnight.
Dr. K.s Well now this in a general way outlines the lines of

force--those operating between males and females, and males among each

other. Now you find that maxs we have examined no society in which

the lines of force break in such a way as to leave the individual

potent and at the same time capable of a good relationship with the woman

as well ae.s making him cooperative with the males. I don't think it is

possible to invent a society in which all three are present. If you

restrict the child in .childhood you impair his virility. If you don't

restrict him you don't impair his virility but k you impose strong

sexual hostilities toward each other. That's the system in Tnpirape and

to m--I ami not satisfied with the explomntion I am giving here--just
how strong these are mand howr they break and how strong the tension between

the individuals are. You s coan render the er.o strong in its sexual

development and then have to take the consequencesof strong egos

m iast g combatting each other. In such a society as the Marquesase

we found--you create the nsoesseity for compensatory menoasuresa and for

ohanaelization, but you do not ?xolude even there the necessity for

passivity of oneaale toward ancbhohr. Now such examples have been oited

by Dr. Valley and in one instance actually tennrminated with passive

homosexuality, with complete aooeptance, although they generally came

out with loss of prestige. This is found in experiments with animals

or in any society with human beings. But I can't give a very complete

explanation. . A-nd I would like to know--I really don't know--

whether this is sno Are initiation rites which injure the child undertaken

in societies where the previous development of the ego is strong? Is

there anything conristont about that? Do you know Cora?

Dr* Dubois: I would hato to hazard a guss.

Dr. K.: Bunny, would you hazard a uesas?

Dr. Bunzel, No, I would have ;o tw in tnat over for a while.


Questions Dr. Kardiner,
zasz: fWay I ask a question about this matter of prestie and
the development of homocexualit-y as a result of failure to aohierv

?goals. liould it have to be related to sexual prestige goals?

zxxa Dr. K.: Not necessarily. .You see this is where I oan*t.

work the thing out without the aid of biographies. I just don't know

hero the difficulty is. In our society males can suffer tremendous

blows to their masoulinity through loss of -money, but I don't know how

it operates here.

But there can be that exceptional individual vIho can achieve
great sexual prestige but not in other ways and still keep his potency.

Yes, but not all nomen. Men in general will make a great subject?

of moxey. If he loses his money '.he loses everything--hispotency and

everything. But if his sexual development is very good he still has

that to fall back on. On the other hand jterarzi there is the man when e

sexual exploits are exclusively to establish his status; he is the

Dnn Juan. But the fact that he can vanquish a woman really ineans that

he cannot vanquish a mAn. And he has to go on an endless quest.

Now as regards the other institutions,. Subsistence eoonorrr,.

tck this noeds no special attention. I thi-nk you will all concede that

it's relatively easy und that the garden is consummated with a minimns

of care. You mentioned the fact that the garden is careless and there

is no necessity for weeding. sEre you would expect that there are nc

religious validations for agriculture, -ioh be the case.

But hunting is a ?nass pursuit which requires a great deal of skill and

is associated with hazards. Also subsisftnoe eoonoem is partly by

oomiunal and partly individual enterprise, but it is arranged in such a

way that the oldest, most powerful man, the ones with control over the

most woson (isn't that the way it works?)--oan thereby control the fruits.

of the labor of the younger men through the control of the women. Isn't

this very. much like the situation in the M&.rquesas? Tea. And this is


another reason--you see from the purely subsistonoe economy 'why the

struggle for the aoman becomes the dominant quest for the man because

it is through the w-omen that he is able not only to preserve some

part of prestige but eventually to booom froo of labor and ablo to

exploit the younger meon. . The father-i.n-law stands in opposition

to the younger men and therefore also he sharess the wirnn and is never

sure of her fidelity. And in each case he is subject to e.n older man.

I would have to follow biographies to see how frequently this operates

in conflicts between father and son-in-law.

In their social organization an attempt is again made to put a

brake on the hostility by relating everyone to everyone else. The

kinship system works to the advinta~ge of the mt.lep when he is older

he gets power. And it po mits the young; males to be exploited by an

older'ore. You see although ego develop-mnt is free there are a great

many checks on the development oAx situation from which the woman is

relatively immune, Further attempt to brake the hostility lies in the

disposition of ir.heritanre. Private property is buried with the

individual and the only land whichh can be inherited is land cultivated

for three years.

Dr. W.?* I think what I 'eant to say was that any land that has

beeoon planted, that is useful, can be inherited.

Dr, Lintoni After three years it loses its value. That's all?

Dr. W.: Yes.

Dr. K.: Let us examine a little bit more closely the wholo

problem of status and. prestige in the society. It is vested in certain

positions with certain privileges and powers with whioh . .

(i) favorite childs .(2) household leaders (3) shamen; (4) leader of

the moiety group. These all .conduce to the collection of large families

and the effort to get other mon to work for them. It was in such form

that it usually tends to drift toward prestige, but it doesn't stick

there. Another way of preventing it from staying. there indefinitely 1s

for those who have it are compelled to give it away through all kinds

of institutional rules. What we have there therefore is--whether this

comes off from the masouline conflicts or not I don't know--but I am

tempted to say so, that the greed is also an expression of this desire,:

the desire to collect and tske all the time and the great sensitivity

to not being given gifts--is an expression of this same conflict

between the males.

Well now, with regard' to their religion and folklore. We fxxg

don't have to concern ourselves with the ideational content, but what

are the operational ideas here? sxtri There are some absences tha

seem in order. Yot don't have the constellation of reward for obedience.

It just doesn't exist; it is totally unkriban. And none of the rituals

there have anything to do i+Ath it. The only rituals they have is

actual combat--thunder fighting, and the strongest one wins. Also

there is no exaggeration of the powerful characteristics of their deities.

all of whioh we traced, if you reeinmber, to those societies in which

very strong disciplinary measures existed and the powers of the parent

were exaggerated.

We firn here twno kinda of deities--those ?dispirited and deceased

and those viho have never been mortal. Therefore we have the division

of friendly and unfriendly. And. for the latter only certain avoidance

are practiced. The bad spirits come for the woman; the woman is again

the target. Every bad spirit you will find, I suspect, in the Tapirape

isthe incorporation of the bad aan who is going to take her mama or your

wife. This is another form of channelizing hostility. It is expressed

very vividly in their religion* The real anxiety, as is shown by their

folklore is the an7xity of the ti- an for the Other predatory and unattached

man. Be's really the evil spirit in this society.

Now the relationship of the dancing to keeping people's spirits

away--I just don't know how that operates. There's no indication.



Also we must note that in some of the dances their phallic character

is very manifest, and some of them reflect in an attenuated form some

of the hostility between themales and females--this ritual game of

the women attacking a man soanehat in fun seemsto indicate that the

woman takes a whack at the males whenever she can. But on the whole

there is much less of that than in other societies.

Now who is the shemen and what is the shamen?--the man who is

able to control those evil spirits. A-ain let us note that the

absence of placations or offerings or the like, but there is an eoonomio

method much stressed in the folklore which is the technique of subduing

or killing tho evil spirit by anal intercourse. I don't think I have

ever encountered that before. That is, you make a woman out of him.

In some instances you actualtoeastrate him.
Now has anybody any suggestions about what the meaning of the

curing processes of the shamens are? FB smokes and he gets himself

,completely intoxicated with smoke. Then he begins to vomit and in the

vomituss you find the noxious influence that causes the disease. fM=s Has

anybody 6ny explanation of that? I would be grateful of any s-uggestion.

Also note the fact that Dr. Wagley mentioned that the greatest shamens

are the thinnest; isn't that right? The one who vomits the most. It

is a wonder they don't die of inanition. I may have an idea about that

for you. Meanwhile let's go to the Thunder fight and this is the only

occasion we have seen where supernatural agenacis are sought to help

the corn grow and prevent it from ke bein, destroyed. Apparently it

is a process of actual combat, not placation, sacrifice or suffering.

You lick him or he licks you, that's all. It seems to be about fifty-

fifty. What are the symptoms of a licked zhamen, Dr. Wagley?

Dr. *.: Hess generally knocked out on his back.

Dr. Ko. Doeshe ever mzke a comeback? (Dr. W.: Oh. yes.) He

gets a return bow?
Dr. W.t He doeant lose his diamonisn because he is thrown out


by one combat. During six or seven days he will be thrown eight or

nine times. Sometimes -when he falls--this is all fantasy--but he

will say he was not licked. "I have been out . "

Dr. K., Down but not out.

Dr. W.: But it depends on what he feels. about it. And

sometimes people are not even maS interested enough to want to know

whether he won or lost.

Dr. K: I don't know vihat thisorocess of intoxication by

smoke and the vomiting is. There is no precise indication of what that

is, but I have noticed z in the folklore considerable references to

the fear of mosquitoes and fleas, of bein!t devoured--that it may be

derived from a general all around guilt about seo'ual relations. I

don't mean that th Rguilt is nocessarilv derived from an Oedinua

complex but may be derived from hrk the fact that the man has jealousy

about sexual activity. N1ow the only clue that I have about this

ritual is this--that eating and sexual relations are completely.identifii

"I want to eat you" means I want to have sexual relations -ith you. Fear

of being eaten up we have traced to dependency longings on the mother,

but no such thing exists here _ai because maternal care is excellent.

The ,woman remains Ir the great protector in the society. And that is

possibly the connection with this eating: the female notonly satisfies

the sexual needs of the man but actually has the power to starve him.

Dr. W.: Perhaps ry translation of the verb was not good. My

translation is "to eat;" it probably should be translated "to satisfy'

or "to consume" because--and another thing, because the linguistic word

happensto be similar it does not mean complete identification.

Dr. K.: That is perfectly -true, but nevertheless there is a

z strong connection indicated, an institutional connection. And if the

woman feeds the man she will also sleep ,ith him. But the reverse is

not true.


NOw I must point out here in connection with this oral conquest?

that the women are universally represented in this society as absolute

push-overs. I never saw a society in vhich women were represented as

having so little sales resistance. The man just simply asks for it

and that's all there is to it. There is no conception of fidelity by

the female. You would have to study a female t* to find out how that

happens. They are completely amoral. It's true in the folklore. It's

true of the mothers who sleep with their sons with impunity and the son

never gets punished for it in folklore. He goes away soot free and she

has his child.

Dr. Wet She was ea*=n- the one you're referring to in the
fx folklore.
?vto said folaowingt- t at
?Dr. K.: You mean you an. 4ky m Eistz~a Missouri accent

isn't as good as Withers'.

Dr. W.: Nevertholess I fooel possibly it's my own interpretation?

that made it, but it may be that the Tapirape woman is a push-over is

an exaggeration. She's not a puch-ovor and there are definitely oases

of refusalax ix:Hrxxx And then there are women who want

to be true to hsr husband and there arc many older people and :.ives

of chiefs who want to be trust to their husbands.

Dr. K.: I derived this from the point of view of folklore,

which is from tVe point of view of the nale. But institutionally?

we know that every worran in the society is accessible and the only

women he cannot approach are the ones vho don't have resistance but

whom the men are afraid to approach because they are wives of very

powerful men. It is the young -~awho gets credit for the virtue, ak

not the woman.
Dr. 7W., It's a male picturee that's the only point that wasn't

nd the
Dr. K.$ I don'tunderstakjx!t ract that there is no attempt to
inflate the value of the woman. She has some value as an object of

5/15/41m -17

sexual relationship. This is really a paradox. As the maternal imago

the woman ought to be treated aell. .* She must get

away with it (adultery) much more frequently than she's oaurht. Itta

only being caught she triesto avoid.

Dr. y'.s I think I brought up the paradox of a woman accentinri

boads and it's a dead givo-away if she accepts beads.

Question: Doesn't the superego got ?built up from this?

Dr. Linton: The superego isn't operating in this case.

Dr. K* e Why not? The superego is in accordance only with

institutions. It depends on the upbrin:in.a the child has, what kind )f

superego you are endowed with. There is no superego with regard to

sexual res triction to ingratiation vath god. The superego is never

stronger than the institutions themselves.

Questionns ut the cultu.e says that the woman may not 'd4 thia,
Or does the culture say that she doesn't want to be oaueht?

She apparently doesn't take care to prevent bed ng oauRht.

Dr. W.: It is said that it isnot nice. but she does do it.

Dr. K.: Suppose 'we take wi illustration from our own society.

L-ok at the mores that?dominato.both our male and rfmale sexuality. TnM

uoch of that is actually operating today? I. is so much so that it

is a standard joke now; w-heever you see a vaudeville skit female virtue

is something to joke about: the man who has the misfortune to marry a

virgin. (stenog. missed most of next passage Well not in Kansas City

I will grant you that as a big urban city. ae have all these
subcultures. Ik might even differ within different neighborhondm in

New York City. But ,the superego maintains its tonicity by virtue of

the aot.;al practices Tneau the individual experiences.
Dr. Burkse
I thought there ;.-ere lots of oases in whioli you get an awful
conflict between ego and speorego and id, Cases in our culture where
there were conflicts over masturbation.

Dr. Ki. Let me try to clarify that. W7e must draw a distinction

between a nonral and a neurotic superego. The thing that you say is the

. ql - .

superego is exclusively the neurotic superego. The individual who takes

literally all the taboos since childhood, expressed and implied, most

children are not that way. They do a little investigating. If they

su8eed in getting away with the first try, dovm goes one of the groat
illusions, that the parents do not know everything I do. Once a child

is able to got this idea his s:perogo is attunod to this. if he

persists in the idea that the parent knows everything till he is a

fellow of thirty-five he will live with a group of restrictions much

greater than other children. Wlhih is which? They are both superegos

and perfectly good ones, but one siuperogo is normal and one is neurotic.

Wo found that to be the case in Tanala. .

But don't regard the superego as a static t~kin thing. It oonatantly

maintains a contact vwit the environment . A :oman doesn't regard it

as +rronr. She may even regard it as an act of bravado.* .
nNatiAnit The dyna ies of the ruporero is Retting complicated.

aow are you P:oir, to in terms of a sot of practices

that result in loss of love, eto.?

Dr. K.: It usually falls in that direction. But different
children evaluate this loss of lova in different ways. One child gets

awvay with a lie because it can lie and not sacrifice the parents' love.

.ot all children and not all parents mialre each a flss abo it a lie. Thus

you can't have any universal.yardstick about the superego. It differs

in tonicity not only in different individuals but in each case is a.

function of the quality o'f th- cont&ots the inLividuael makes with the

environment. There are certain ?means for that. In this society the

superego has no connection whatsoever with the idea of suffering.

That is a part of our superego. Theseoppople don't #rgt pray for orops.

Is there something wron-g W ith their superogo? No. There is no anxiety

connected there. But hunting requires skill.

Dr. Linton: And luck, thm que stion of being given the kill

you find when religious ideas tend to cluster about the points of uncertainty.

*3?<* < @ i'A. .en ?eyway you drn*y heiw *to 1orfc td


E /15/41-P19

Dr. K.: Just let me illustrate thispoint. Somebody asked me

a question at the beginning of the z hour. I recently had an opportunity

to study three superegos in pure culture. Dr. Clifford Shaw submitted

to me four biographies--a mother and three sons. Two of the sons became

criminals; one of them did not. And it is' naturally the easiest thing

in the world to say, well two of them had no superegos at all and the

other fellow had a very strong one and was therefore normal. Well, it's

an explanation, and I don't deny that it has some validity, but if you

want to work with a situation like this you have to be more precise

Let's see what the superegos of the three were. The following xn were

the circumstances. All three boys had the same mother, but the older

two.boys had the same father aad the third did not. So that the older
boys had a step father and the younger boy did not. The mother was a

poor Polish peasant girl who 'oae to this on ntry and worked very hard

and was axktzh evidently a very attractive girl. A very.nice man fell

in love with her, married her and after they had been married about six

years he got pulmonary tuberculosis and died. This was an utterly

helpless woman, left with about $25.00 & at her husband's death with

two children. This was a very devoted mother but she couldn't put her

devotion in concrete terms so she :had to go to work. She took the two

boys and hired a girl to take care of them. The girl useca to go out

all day or entertain aen at the apartment and half an hour before tht

mother came home she would feed the children and out thea :in bed. The

mother came home and they would be in bed and fed. But 'the kid isn't

fooled by that. The mother oame home one dav and found .a man in bead

with the girl and threw her out. She couldn't use this. method and after

this went on for a few months she had to part vdth these children and

send thea to an orohanare. And by the way the descriptions of the two

boys differed--one said the food at the: orphanage was good and one. said

the food was bad. I don't know which was which, button one point they
agreed* They were oared for by the '"slot machine tiethoed" There was

not one grain of affection; just moaningloss disciplines. Although

they were fed and cared for there was no affection. And 'vhen the

mother used to come once a month the kids used to live for the day

the mother would bring a candy bar or something of that sort and that

was wvrth more than anything else. Then she finally decided that she

has to sacrifice herself for these two children. Mearnhile the d&anage

was being done. One day after 18 months the mother coam and said,

"Boys, .1 ra going to take you home" and introduced them to a stop-father.

He made the initial step of in= buying them oandy and s.,eets, but in

a few days he began to show signs of dislike. Within a few month he

began to drink axnry heavily and get into stupors and beat the mother

and kids and toll them he hated thae because they weren't his.Sh*' had

to divorce him and then cmoe the second period in the orphanage. These

kids x were four and eight, an important fomnative period of their livus.

After another two to three and a half years the mother introduced them

to another step-father. I don't understand this--wheothr it is a

Chicago pattern or a Polish pattern or what. But these men in any a-zx

event the moment they hod any conflict had to drink and exeouto their

murderous impulses in that foxr. The seoord step-father .said the same

thing--"You dontt belon "to M.., you're eating too much."

?Tell, what kind of an atmosphere was this for these people?

They lived in the slums and a great many boysin the slums had delinquent
activities. In these activities the boys aoquined a status, aehievoertb,

respect, regard, estcom and affootion--..and this affnotion that the

mother had for themor was a totally empty token which could not be backed

up by any real evidence because all they saw L t hone was the father
beating the mother, kicking her around and being told they weren't wanted.

One delinquency led to another wad .pcx both of those kids-,ny hair stood

on end, one couldn't understand how boys eleven years old oould do the

things these kids did. They forged cheeks; they would walk Into a store

5/15/41- -20


and say, '"y mother sent mie," and collect f76.00. I1+ is a most extra-

ordinary exploit. And one of them went from one delinquency To another

eventually terminating in an attempted murder. Then the mother got

prepant and after the birth of the third child there was an i-aediate

change in the father. The other two boys were confronted k with the

situation that this other child was loved and they were not. This is

not a cause of a stron- or weak superego You can describe
but th-y had to
it that way ./ iz~ma establish their means of adaptation on

aim other grounds. The other boyd had perfect environment. The father

was entirely different toward this child. He stopped drinking. The

Parents were completely different. Not until theyoame to be around

18 years old did his attitude ohan;0e. Is this an appropriate way of

describing it? One boy has a strong superego? hat had these younger

boys to lose. They had no parental love. They appreciated the mother's

affection but as I say it was a hollow inoremoent and couldn't be backed

up by any tangible help. But they had great affection for her. These

kids were perfect judges of their environment. They knew their mother

was a good person but they loved her .

Dr. B>urkst They didn't nind breaking her heart.

No, that didn't oount. Both orf tiise men were eventually restored

by women,

Dr. B~rkst :Pre wormenI

Yes, pure wonen, And the courtehip of the first one terminated

whoen the girl said to himi "I don't are about what you were in the

past; it's wvhat you will be in the future." That was something new to

him, that someone trusted hitm. The crimes that these two committed

woro felonies and one served a six year sentence and one a seven year

sent-'nos in the state penitentiary, and both of thmn were redeemed by

"women because in thea they found es~x.n one .io cared for arnd esteemed them

and leave thm eomebthing to work for, 1he redemption was complete after


they had children. The idea was "I cannot expose my children to the
influences under which I grew up."

Dr. Lintons It seems to me you have a beautiful examp e/f wUla

the principles of reinforcement and extension. Applied to those oharao-

teristics acquired during the ?normative period. If they had met the

wrong women, for example*

Dr. K.: Both of thea did meet the wrong kind of women. Thoy

ran around with prostitutes and with "gals" as they said, but they made

no impression on them. (They always went to women most lihe their mother(?

'ach of-the boys was perfectly attuned to hisown particular environment.

And to summarize about the shamenistic fight, I think the

oontex# represents the struggle of the men against their rivals, or

possibly against the child, Let's cheek this on some of the myths. Now

the stories are .o-cethir~, like this. There is a group of stories the

ssxxa sequence of w.'ich is utterly meaningless to me; they have no

beginning and no end, and the activities pointless so far as our
?trutu'ro. Then there are
particular personal is concerned. te stories which are direct

reflections of certain mores; one nan ries because his wife will not

cook for him 6nd stories of being eaten by cannibals.. Then stories of

mother-son affairs, but they don't terminate as Oadipus complex: the

initiative is usually .attributed to the'son but there isno punishment.

Rivalries between brothers are always associated with vengeanoe. For

.example Coiarnkonya and Kucas are twvo brothers. One !,oes hunting and when

he returns he finds his brother in the hammock with his wife. He outs

off his brother's penis and outsit into 'a opi and roasts it and feeds
it to his wife. There is no :mourning for. the brother. Eating the brothers

penis is a coxm.on themrn. I another story the betraying Drotner neoomem

a hawk and then tioe hmak carries the brother away and eats him. Leaving

intercourse with a woman who feeds you, eating her and stealing her, being

eaten by the brother are themes. Tn andher tale a rather goes away and

the son has intercourse with the mother and she has tio children. She is


then eaten by anchunga. The twins avwn5e the murder by killing anchunxa

but the son is not punished, and the father isknocked out of the picture*
The hostility to rivals is one of the sources of hostility to their child.

It is not the woan they fear but the child in her uterus vho Will bite
off the penis-- "Two brothers go to the Sun to marry his daughters. One

couldn't haveintercourse with her because she'hpd a piranya in her

abdomen who would bite off the penis, So they bathe her in cinnapo and

kill the fii then the man could have intercourse with her." Heref s

a representation of the child as the creature vho lives inside the woman

and takes the woman away, something very valuable from the man.
Then there are a large number of tales about mutual attempts at

anal intnrocoursei One story of Onca end JTaboti has it that the one fools

the other by having a snall penis. f inserts it and when it gets

ereot it hurts the other fellow. Onca then gets angry and kills and eats

Jaboti. The best of these homosexual stories are stories of Ware and Anohtnm

Ware is out hunting. An anchunga oomes to dig a well Ware reaches him

with a long stick. The anchunga thinksit is a mosquito and he sits downT

to hunt for lice or mosquitto. Ware sees his buttocks exposed and has

intercourse with him. Anehunua then has xc anal intercourse with several

animals. But anohunma 'eznts intercourse with Ware. Ware evades him by

escaping into a tree. but parrots gather at their nest and push anchungea

dovwi and he falls off treeand gets killed. These anchunga, by the way,

have penises so large that they carry them over their shoulders and when

they are erect are the size of a tree trunk. 'They can be satisfied by

man, or animals. .are dries pepper and grindsit and puts it into

the water where anchungsa bathe their penis. The pepper burns the penis

and anchunga die.

Dr. agley: *'hose are different kinds of anohunga. The anahunga

is a generic term and there are many races and species of them. These

are twox

Dr. K. I think that about takes in everything exoeot your

criticisms and discussion. Now Dr. Waeley, I would like to ark you a

question. Now please bo. frank about it because I am here to learn, not

to establish anything. Does this clarify the Tapiraps culture at all?

Is it anything very different from what k you anticipated?

Dr. Wagley: It is not much different from what I anticipated.

I had seen the Tapirape more or loss like this. And I think if we

check through the material I presented--in the actual pr eeontation

of material, crpecially after a long field trip li1k this you do select,

and this was thepicture I moant to build* And yet you pointed it

up more clearly than I could have pointed it up. I was not able to bring

in some aspects into the picture.* For oxen-ple I did not know what to *

do with chamenism in tke tNfiing o 'f Tunde. And s Vyou y your explana-.

tion of that is as good as it can be for the material you have. I was

never able to bring that in, and I still otintot tie that up with the

complete picture.
Dr. K: Don't be disheartened; neither am I. I think much could

be ?~ot frou this ohkole thing by' pointing, out the relationshiosof the

irdiyiduals to each other.. I think you wouldn't need more than two or

three, if you could get a Abograihy.

Dr. 1. t I dery anyone to. get one in less than three years. That's

a difficulty you find in all primitive societies. I think Corea had a

similar difficulty. '"hey had no idea of chronology. They count to four*

Beyond that it's a hand and then the nmurber of hairs in the head, and

it took me ten months to finally get a soriesof .words which h signified a

year. So that temporal sanso is a thing very difficult to work out there*

I think if you get more rdflned field work and . I think you

could got snatches of biogra.-hies, not necessarily tied up with a time



Dr. K.t I think Dr. Dubois solved that. She had that difficulty--

Dr. Dubois: Not as acute a one.

Dr. K.* She solved that by really trying to get a cross section

of the individual's life and activities over a period of times Over a

period of 30 to 40 sessions the biography consumes about a month. It

shows you where their conflicts are and what things are important and

what things aren't.

Dr. Wagley: It is hard to describe the field conditions. In

the first place I was unable to ever have an appointed session with any-

body. Never once did I have one. Even afterr the sun is set", or any

appointmart of that sort. There. isno way to keep an appointment. They

don't exist. My way of work was to fo out through the village and catch

the most likely looking one that I found and take him back by the arn
in their house
to my house. Either that or I wauld ,;o and stretch out in the hamnock/

and seldom would my information come from one individual alone, or was

I ever in a situation where one man answered my question. No, it was

five people who answered my question. Sometimes it worked out rather

well for five know more than one. Still there is a difficulty in getting

a personal question from five people at once.

Dr. Kardiner: We are not criticizing, but as scientists we are

inexorable and we want that we want. We know that.. On the other hand

I think your account was very good* The one place where it failed to

hang together very consistently is the question of the homosexual complex.

Now that is my guwss as to where it is derived from, but I wouldn't

spill any blood over it.

Dr. Linton: In this question of the maternal imago, you would

expect so:e early experiences (,) You have the factor of ?female rejection

of the child from about ten on. Unfortunately I missed the life cycle,

but a man must depend on his wife. then on his mother I understand. If

he has no wife he can't be sure his mother will take care of him. While


also from ten years on the father becomes a disciplinary agent.
Drs K.: I think that is a good point here. There may be some

disappointment thero because it also ma jibes with the fact that the

women are not held in high esteem. And the whole thing is a malo

organization. I am not sure about this, nor am I sure of all the sub-

divisions and interconnections between them.

Any questions or rebuffs?

Questions I am not sure just where the hostility that is generate

comes from.

Dr. K.s For masculine prestige.

The favorite child is not xxt exclusively a male. .Where did

the drives for this prestige comE from?

Dr. K.: It is a rivalry bet.'aen the men. It is theonly competi-

tive situation you have there. It is notonly between males for the women

but it is also the low position that tho young men occupy vLth respect

to the older males without any very. strict disciplines except initiation.

Dr. Dubois I thiri an important point in that isthat even though

the young men are at a disadvantage with respect to older men there is

no assurance that you may just sit ti;,ht--because you have constantly to

mdtit validate yourself in the afs~eial group. I think that is where

the big pinch comes in some of these groups.

(Something missed here)

Dr. K. i And Dro Wagley emphasized particularly that it isn't

every man who becomes h3ad of a household. It is a rare exception,

Dr. Lintons But the old man loose sresti-e rather automatically,

I understand. My fooling was that it was a little bit like your Comanche

situation where you had Aa your high poeit in middle age but had to

be constantly validating yourself in these competitive activities. As

soon as you dropped out of these you began became secure in old ago but

at a very low level of prestige,

Dr. Wagleyt Old m~m are soxntimes x laughed at. There .wre
ftos ^A mo'wh n.'pinI .^^^*fe ^'blaveloAe'fi3 ,, p; y *-.f+ *nw^^


But old women were nondescript.
Dr. K.: They are pretty nondescript throughout. Well now in

closIng I want to make one remark as to where the important lesson of
this lecture lies. Just as no two human beings are alike, no two cultures
are alike. This culture has offered a very important lesson/ for those

of you who like to put away blueprints for future societies, namely that

you can't really create a society where there are no tensions, and although

mxa we have a tendency now to feel that the greatest tensions are created

by subsistence need, you can't, as I seeoo it, create a society in which

prestige will not aot as a severe disruptive influence of the whole

society. And that's only a word of caution to future society builders*