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Brazilian Racial Terms: Some

Aspects
of
Meaning
and
Learning
ROGER SANJEK
Columbia University
Harris notes that the New
Ethnography
has been characterized
by
a lack
of
quantitative
methods. In a
study of
racial
vocabulary
in a Brazilian
village,
quantitative procedures
are
employed
to show
that, despite
considerable
ambiquity,
a small
portion of
the
corpus of
116 terms
forms
the
cognitive map of
most
informants
and
organizes
the bulk
of
the domain. Data on how children
acquire
the
vocabulary
is used to demonstrate that skin color and hair
form
are the
primary
varia bles.
THE NEW ETHNOGRAPHY is
by
now a
standard branch of American academic an-
thropology. Following
the seminal
papers by
Goodenough (1956)
and
Lounsbury (1956),
a series of
programmatic papers (Wallace
and
Atkins
1960;
Wallace
1962;
Conklin
1962;
Frake
1962), symposia (Romney
and
D'Andrade
1964a;
Hammel
1965)
and re-
view articles
(Sturtevant 1964; Colby 1966)
have been
published.
So have a
growing
number of
empirical studies, mostly
of
kinship teminologies.
A critical literature has
also been
accumulating (Burling 1964;
Berreman
1966;
Harris
1964a, 1968).
But serious
disagreements
exist
among
the New
Ethnographers.
The most
important
of these I believe to be the division between
what
might
be called the
formalists,
who
evaluate contributions on the bases of
elegance, economy
and
prediction (Hammel
1964; Hymes 1965; Lounsbury 1968)
and
those who
argue
for
psychological validity
as
the basis
upon
which to
accept
or
reject
a
given analysis (Wallace
and Atkins
1960;
Wallace
1965; Romney
and D'Andrade
1964b; Goodenough 1965):
a
problem
posed by Burling
as the difference between
"hocus-pocus"
and "God's Truth"
(1964).
In an
analysis
of Brazilian racial
vocabulary
I
attempt
to extend some of the
procedures
of
the latter on the basis of certain of the
critiques
which have been leveled
against
componential analysis.
I
The basic idea behind
componential
analysis
is that each
unit,
or
lexeme,
within a
semantic domain is
composed
of two or more
sememes,
or bits of
meaning.
These
discriminative bits differentiate the lexemes
within the domain. The more sememes shared
by
two
lexemes,
the closer
they
are in terms of
meaning. Componential analysis
is a
procedure
which isolates the sememes within
a
corpus
of lexemes
(Romney
and D'Andrade
1964b:
154, 168).
An
example
would be the
hypothesized
component
of
meaning (sememe)
which
distinguishes
book from
magazine
for
English
speakers-periodicity
of
publication (Hymes
1964a:118).
I
could validate this
analysis
even
though
I would not have been able to
articulate such a distinction.
However,
whether other
representatives
of
my
culture
also find this solution
satisfying
is an
empirical problem,
and
Hymes
offers no
statistical data on
how,
or
whether,
this
analysis
was confirmed
by
culture
bearers.1
This
brings
me to a
major
criticism of the
New
Ethnography:
the lack of
quantitative
methods. This lack affects several elements of
New
Ethnographic procedures: (a)
the
collection of the
corpus
of
terms, (b)
the
specification
of the
population
to which the
analysis
is to
apply
and
(c)
the verification of
the
analysis by
the culture bearers.2
1126
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BRAZILIAN RACIAL TERMS 1127
(a)
In the
componential analysis
of a
semantic
domain,
the collection of the terms
contained within the boundaries of the
domain is understood to be crucial
(Sturtevant 1964:103-104, 110).
In
many
analyses, however,
the
assemblage
of the
corpus
has
depended
not
upon
the use of
ethnographic discovery procedures
within a
fieldwork
situation,
but
upon
old
ethnography performed
for a different
purpose (Lounsbury 1968;
cf. Sturtevant
1964:111),
a
single
informant
(Goodenough
1965)
or an
unspecified procedure (Wallace
and Atkins
1960). Romney
and D'Andrade
(1964b),
on the other
hand,
have offered an
operational
method for the
assemblage
of the
semantic
corpus;
it is
replicable
and indicates
statistically
to which
population segment
it
applies.
(b)
The
indeterminacy
of the
population
sample presents interpretative problems
for
the reader when Frake couches his
generalizations
with
phrases
such as "the
Subanun
themselves,"
"a Subanun ... he can
tell us" and
"they rarely disagree
in the verbal
definitions of the
concepts
themselves"
(1961:124-125).
Similar
problems
arise when
Faris
speaks
of
"people
in Cat
Harbour,"
"the
common
response"
and "the
way
Cat
Harbour folk
classify
'occasions' "
(1968:115-116).
It is a
legitimate question
to
ask how
many
informants told the
ethnographer something
and how
thoroughly
responses
were cross-checked
among
different
informants.3
(c)
The use of a
single
informant to
verify
the
psychological reality
of a
componential
analysis (Goodenough 1965;
Wallace
1965)
opens
the results to the kind of attack
against
which statistical data
provides
a defense.
These criticisms boil down to the
point
made
by
Harris
(1968:419-421, 582-589)
that the
linguistic
model cannot be
applied
to
any
and all domains of culture in an a
priori
fashion. Wallace has termed this fallacious
assumption
of the
universality
of the
linguistic
model as the
"replication
of
uniformity"
view of
society:
that "the
society
may
be
regarded
as
culturally homogeneous
and that the individuals will be
expected
to
share a uniform nuclear character"
(Wallace
1961:26).
Wallace contrasts this
position
with
the
"organization
of
diversity" model,
and
demonstrates
logically
that shared
cognitive
patterns
are not a functional
prerequisite
of
society.
But it is a mistake to see these two models
as
opposing
views. In
any population,
all
information
(emic phenomena)
is distributed
in some
way.
Uniform distribution is a
special
case of this. And in
any population,
information is learned in some
way,
cumulatively
or in a
lump.
The
description
of
any
semantic domain must take account of
these two
properties:
distribution and
learning.
Domains of
ambiguity (Harris
1968:
582-589)
should offer no
problem
if the New
Ethnographers
used
appropriate sampling
procedures
and charted the distribution of
information for the semantic domain under
study.
We could then
proceed
to such
questions
as "under what conditions do
types
of distributions of information occur within
varieties of semantic domains?" and "what
are the functions of
ambiguity
and of
common
knowledge?"
II
The domain of Brazilian racial
vocabulary
offers a test case for some of the
assumptions
of the New
Ethnography.
It also offers an
arena for the
testing
of
quantitative
procedures
in
cognitive anthropology.
The
present analysis
is based on two
months of fieldwork in
Sitio,
a coastal
fishing
village
some
eighty
kilometers north of
Salvador, Bahia,
in northeast Brazil.4
I
collected 116 different terms which
informants used to indicate racial
types.
This
is the
largest corpus
of terms collected in a
single
locale
(cf.
Kottak
1963)
but is
considerably
less than the 492 terms collected
by
Harris in several locations
throughout
Brazil
(Harris 1970).
The terms were elicted in the
following
manner. A deck of
thirty-six
black and white
drawings
of male faces which included the
possible
combination of three hair forms
(straight, wavy, kinky),
three skin shades
(light, medium, dark),
two nose forms
(thick,
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1128 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST
[73,1971
thin)
and two
lip
forms
(thick, thin)
[3x3x2x2=36]
was shown to informants in a
standardized random
order;
the
responses
for
each card were recorded in the view of the
informant. This test was
given
to
sixty
adults
(29 male,
31
female)
and
produced eighty-six
terms. A similar set of
drawings
of females was
given
to fifteen of the
sixty informants,
yielding
sixteen more terms. Fourteen
additional terms were elicited
through
conversations,
informant self-identification
or in the
responses
to the male set
given by
the
111 children who took the test.
A
questionnaire
was also administered to
forty
informants.
They
were asked to describe
the skin
color,
the hair
form,
the hair
color,
the nose form and the
lip
form for each of
thirty-one
terms selected from the
larger
corpus.
The terms had been ranked
intuitively
by
me in order of darkest to
lightest
in
hopes
that informant
responses
would indicate
contrasting
features in
adjacent
terms.
My procedures
accord more
closely
with
what
Romney
and D'Andrade
(1964c)
term
the
"psychological approach"
to
cognitive
studies than with the
ethnographic approach
of Frake
(1964).
I
was not
immediately
concerned with the actual
usage
of terms
by
actors in "natural"
situations,
but rather with
working
in the
opposite direction, attempting
through "experimental"
methods to control
the environmental factors which intervene
upon cognitive
structure in natural behavior.
Thus the theoretical basis for
my study
was
quite
different from an
"ethnography
of
speaking"
about racial
types (Hymes 1964b).
I view the two foci of interest as
complementary. Nonetheless,
I would
argue
for the
logical priority
of the kind of
analysis
I
am about to
present
insofar as it
provides
controls for an examination of the situational
and
sociological
variables involved in
"natural" verbal
usage
of the racial lexicon.
I do not wish to
represent
these
samples
as
true random
samples
of a
community
of 2500
people.
The
samples, however,
are
representative
in at least five
ways.
Individuals
from the most
European-looking
to the most
African-looking
are
included, as are the
various intermediate
types.
Individuals of all
ages,
from sixteen to
seventy-two
in the adult
sample,
are included.
People
from all
parts
of
the
village,
from one end to the
other,
are
included. About
equal
numbers from both
sexes are included.
And, judging
from a
division of households into three strata based
upon
the
quality
and construction of houses
and
upon occupation,
the
sample
reflects the
range
of incomes within the
village,
from
relatively
rich to
poor.
What I intend to do in this
paper
is to
construct a model which maximizes the
degree
of
underlying
order contained in the
data. I do not want to
deny
or
gloss
over the
areas of
disagreement
and
ambiguity
which
my
statistics
prove
to be an
unimpeachable
property
of the
corpus (cf.
Harris
1970).
In
presenting
a
cognitive map
which I claim is
shared in a modal sense
(by
at least five-sixths
of
my informants),
I want to be clear that
such
competence
does not have a one-to-one
correspondence
with verbal behavior. I
believe rather that the
expression
of the
cognitive
classification is altered
by
environmental
(situational, sociological)
variables which are essential for an
understanding
of
why any
term is
actually
uttered. Such variables would include at least
the economic
class,
the
dress, personality,
education and relation of the referrant to the
speaker;
the
presence
of other actors and their
relations to the
speaker
and
referrant;
and
contexts of
speech,
such as
gossip, insult,
joking, showing affection,
maintenance of
equality
or of differential social
status,
or
pointing
out the referrant in a
group.s
I doubt that the
"meaning"
of the full
number of
terms,
and the
possibilities
for
producing
more
terms,
can be understood
aside from such variables. The
size,
complexity
and individual variation of the
racial
vocabulary
can be
explained only
when
it is understood that the
underlying
structure
I
attempt
to isolate cannot be translated into
behavior aside from the
"intervening
variables" I have
just
mentioned.
III
I
decided
to
use
the
concept
of
salience
to
uncover the
degree
of order contained within
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Sanjek I BRAZILIAN RACIAL TERMS
1129
the full
corpus
of terms. The salience
concept
arose from the
study by Romney
and
D'Andrade of
cognitive aspects
of American
kin terms
(1964b). They
were faced with the
problem
of more than one
logically possible
componential analysis
of American kin terms.
They
realized that
componential analysis
was
not "an automatic method of
uncovering
individual
cognitive
structures . . .We feel
that the solution to this
problem
lies in
further behavioral measures of individual
cognitive operations" (1964b:154). They
used three "further
measures,"
the first of
which,
a
listing
of kin terms in free recall
by
105
high
school
students,
led to the
concept
of salience.
We were interested in the
types
of
inferences we could draw
concerning
the
cognitive
structure of kin terms from the
order, frequency
of
recall,
and
productiveness
of modifiers.
..
The
'saliency'
of kin terms is not
considered
explicitly
in most formal
analyses
but is of interest from a
psychological point
of view. There are two
indices of
saliency
available in the
listing
data. The first is the
position
of a term in
the list. . . The second index of
saliency
is
the
percent
of
subjects
who remember the
term. We assume that the more salient
terms will be recalled more
frequently
[1964b:155].
My
measure of salience is not
quite
the
same as that of
Romney
and D'Andrade.
Although my
informants did not list terms
freely,
in the male
drawing
test
they
each
provided
a list of terms.
My
measure of the
salience of each term will be the number of
informants who used that term. This
approaches more
closely Romney and
D'Andrade's second index.
I took the
sixty
lists of
responses
to the set
of male
drawings
and counted to see how
many
of the informants mentioned each of
the
eighty-six
terms at least once. The ten
most salient terms are
given below.
These ten terms account for 1831 or 84.8%
of all
responses [60x36=2160]
to the set of
male
drawings. Any explanation
of the
structure of this semantic domain must
involve an
analysis
of the
meaning
of these
terms.
I think the
ordering according
to salience is
more useful than the
slightly
different
ordering according
to
gross usage. My
reason
is that the more
people
who offer a
term,
the
closer that term
approaches
the status of a
shared,
or "cultural" trait. The fewer
people
who offer
it,
the more a term
approaches
the
status of a
subcultural,
or
possibly
idiosyncratic
element. A
logical property
of
the salience
concept
reinforces
my
contention: a term could be
highly specific
(be applied
to
only
one
drawing)
and be
universally
known. Therefore a salience of
sixty
and a
gross usage
of
sixty (of 2160)
is
possible. Similarly,
a low salience and a
high
gross usage
is
possible.
Before
proceeding
in the
analysis
of the
most salient
terms,
let me
present
the salience
data on the other
seventy-six
terms which
together
account for the
remaining
15.2% of
the
gross usage:
Term
Responses
Gross
Usage Percent
(n=60) (n=2160)
moreno
54 342 15.8
branco
52 425 19.7
sarara
46 276 12.8
preto 41 159 7.3
cabo verde
37 176 8.3
caboclo
32 98 4.5
negro 22 63 2.9
mulato
22 113 5.2
alvo
21 101 4.7
moreno claro 21 78 3.6
1831 84.8
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1130 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [73,1971
Term
Responses (n=60)
escuro 14
moreno escuro 13
araquabo (saruabo)
12
roxo 11
escurinho 8
claro 7
louro 6
sarard miolo 6
mulato claro 4
moreno de cabelo
bomrn
4
Rroxinho, amarelo, mestico,
branco de
cabelo
ruim,
criolo and moreninho were used
by
three informants
per term; nega, bem alvo,
branco
legitimo, indio,
moreno cor de
canela
and sararazado were used
by
two informants
per
term.
Fifty-four
other terms were used
by
one informant
per
term
(cf. Appendix).
Following
another lead from
Romney
and
D'Andrade,
an examination of the
corpus
in
terms of
primitive
terms and modified terms
reveals
roughly
that the more salient a term
is,
the
larger
the number of modified terms
which derive from it
(moreno escuro,
moreno
de cabelo
bom, moreninho,
and so
on,
I am
calling
modified terms derived from the
primitive
term
moreno).
Here the eleven most
frequently
modified
terms from the
corpus
of 116 are listed in
order:
Term Term +
Modified Forms
moreno 23
branco 12
negro
7
sarara 7
caboclo 7
mulato 7
alvo 5
preto 5
roxo 5
cabo verde 4
escuro 4
86
Of the fifteen most salient
terms,
these
eleven
terms,
and three modifications of
them,
account for fourteen. The
remaining
term is
araquabo,
which has two modified
forms,
saruabo and the
idiosyncratic
asaruabo. These eleven terms and their
modified forms account for
eighty-six
of the
116
terms,
or
seventy-four percent
of the
corpus.
The rest
of
the total list consists
of
nineteen terms which have no modified
forms,
and the
following
four terms which
have one modified form each:
criolo, indio,
louro,
vermelhaqa.
The full list of all 116
terms therefore can be boiled down to
thirty-five
modifiable terms of which sixteen
have a salience of
1/60.
Let
me state
right
now that I believe that
skin color and hair form are the two basic
components
which order this domain. It is
precisely
at this
point
in
any componential
analysis
that the
game may
be won or lost.
This is what Wallace and
Atkins, following
Goodenough,
call
step
three
(1960);
it is
where
Lounsbury (1968:130) begins
his
"inspection"
of the
corpus
and its
denotata;
it
is where
Burling (1964)
tells us that
any
number of
possible analyses may begin.
The
identification of the initial
components
is
where the decision between
elegance,
economy,
and
prediction
on the one
hand,
or
psychological validity
on the
other,
must be
made.
Having
stated
my bias,
I will now offer
evidence to
support my hypothesis.
There are reasons
beyond
the evidence I
will
offer, however,
which led me to select
skin color and hair form as the basic
discriminants.
First,
from
my reading
before
going
to
Brazil,
I was certain that these two
variables were involved in the
meaning
of the
terms.
Second,
Harris'
picture
set contained
these two
variables,
and his selection of the
features tested in the set of
drawings
was
based
upon
his
knowledge
of Brazilian
culture.
Third,
as a result of the
participant
observer
process,
and of
many
interviews with
informants in which I asked
exactly
which
features are most
important,
I came to feel
subjectively
that hair form and skin color
were the most basic elements of
meaning.
I
think it is worth
noting
that some
knowledge
of the culture is
always
involved in
choosing
the initial
components
in
any
ethnoscientific
analysis (cf. Faris 1968). Something
more
than a mere
"inspection"
of the
corpus
inescapably
enters the selection
process.
A
thoroughly
uncharitable critic could
say
that all I have done is to show that hair form
and skin color are more
important
components
of
meaning
than
lip
and nose
form
(the only variables included in the
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Sanjek ]
BRAZILIAN RACIAL TERMS 1131
picture set).
I am not entitled to
say anything
about other
parameters,
such as hair color and
eye
color which the
questionnaire
data show
to be
important
for
some,
not
all,
informants
in
discriminating
certain terms from others.
Additional
features, say
facial width or ear
size, may
be as
important,
or even more
important, components
than the two I am
suggesting.
I have tried to
give
some of the
justification
for
choosing
skin color and hair form as
hypothetically significant prior
to
designing
the test instruments.
However,
the
range
of
variables and their ranked
importance
are
only
to be discovered
through
the formation
of
hypotheses
and the
subsequent
interaction
of observer's test and informant's
response.
In
designing
the
questionnaire
I discovered that
hair color was another variable. In
administering
the
questionnaire,
I learned
that
eye
color was still another
variable,
about
which I was not able to ask
systematically.
Further research based
upon hypotheses
concerning
more than four variables is
obviously appropriate. My
data
represent
no
more than an increment to a series of studies
which has
yet
to be
completed.
I have tried to make
explicit
the reasons
why
I chose skin color and hair form as the
basic
components.
Now I will
present
the
evidence which I believe confirms this
hypothesis.
In
doing
so I do not wish to
deny
the measure of
ambiguity
within the data. I
fully accept
Harris' characterization of the use
of racial
vocabulary
in Brazil
(Harris 1970).
Going
in the other
direction, however,
I can
also find
something
informative to
say
about
cognitive
structure and
psychological validity
(both
in a modal
sense),
about how the
system
is learned and about individual verbal
behavioral differences. I believe that Harris'
and
my
own
findings
are
fully
complementary.
If skin color and hair form are the two
most
important components,
then
high per-
centages
of informants should show their
awareness of these variables. A
good
indication of this is the salience in the
responses
to
the male
drawing test of terms
denoting
the
logical types
in a two variable
system: (1) light skin, straight hair; (2)
dark
skin, kinky hair; (3) light skin, kinky hair; (4)
dark
skin, straight
hair. Four
pairs
of
terms,
I
contend,
fit these
logical types: (1) branco,
alvo; (2) araquabo; preto, negro; (3) sarar6,
araquabo; (4)
cabo
verde,
caboclo.
The second set of
data,
the
forty
questionnaires, provide
information about
the abstract racial
types
in terms of the five
traits about which I asked each informant. I
offer a
summary
of the results of this
questionnaire
as evidence for the
pairings,
and
for their use as indicators of the four
logical
types.
(1)
branco-alvo. Of the
forty informants,
thirty-eight
told me branco has white skin. All
of them said branco has
straight
hair. The
responses
for hair color were more
ambiguous:
about half said branco has black
hair,
and half said blond hair. In
describing
alvo, thirty-eight
of the
forty merely
said
alvo
is the same as branco.
Only
one man identified
himself as
alvo.
He had
yellowish
skin and
wavy
hair. When he said he was
alvo,
the other
people standing
around us
began laughing
and
told
him,
and
me,
that he was not alvo. I
conclude that branco and
alvo
are
synonyms.
I can think of no situational or
sociological
factor which would account for
using
one
term instead of another.
The
appearance
of branco and of alvo as
responses
to the male
drawing
test is shown in
Table I. The
responses
to the
thirty-six
cards
were divided on the basis of two
variables,
three values each. Each of the nine boxes
accounts for the
responses
for four
pictures.
Each box contains a total of 240
responses
altogether (4x6=240).
The total
responses
for
all nine boxes is 2160
(9x240=2160).
Of the
2160
responses,
424 were the term
branco,
and 110 were the term alvo.
(2) preto-negro.
All
forty
informants
agreed
that
preto
has black
skin,
black hair
and thick nose and
lips.
Of the
forty,
thirty-six
said
preto
has
kinky hair,
and the
other four said he
may
have either
kinky
or
straight
hair. All
forty
said that
negro
means
the same
thing
as
preto.
It is
evident, however,
that
usage
varies. Preto is
preferred,
a more
polite form.
Negro is used more often when
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1132 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST
[73,1971
TABLE I
Skin Hair Form Skin Hair Form
Straight Wavy Kinky Straight Wavy Kinky
Light
153 135 26
Light
37 34 9
Medium 44 51 15 Medium 11 16 3
Dark 0 0 0 Dark 0 0 0
branco
(N=424)
alvo
(N=110)
referring
to a disliked
person
and
may
mutate
to
nega
a
stronger
form not used in
polite
conversation.
(Nego, however,
is used
affectionately
with
children.)
Five informants
identified themselves to me
aspreto,
and
only
one as
negro.
I conclude that the abstract
meaning
of the two terms is
close,
but that
situational and
sociological
variables
probably
account for differences in verbal behavior.
(The appearance
of
preto
and
negro
as
responses
to the male
drawing
test is shown in
Table
II.)
(3)
sarard-araquabo.
Many
informants
immediately
said "white with bad hair"
(branco
do cabelo
ruim)
when I came to the
term sarara. I recorded these
responses
before
asking
about the
remaining
traits. For the
forty
informants
altogether thirty-eight
said
sarara has
kinky
hair. For skin
color,
twenty-two
of
forty
said
white,
and
eight
others used terms
indicating light
skin
coloring.
Of the
remaining ten,
six said red
skin
color,
two moreno and two moreno
escuro. For hair
color, thirty-two
said
red,
six
yellow,
and two red or black. Answers for
lips
and nose were about half thin and half thick.
Of the
forty,
fourteen told me that araquabo
was the same as sarard. Four others did not
know the term. Of the
twenty-two
who
provided descriptions
of the
traits,
seventeen
said
araquabo
has
kinky
hair. The
responses
for hair
color,
skin
color,
nose and
lip
form
paralleled
the sarard
responses.
Some
people
clearly
do
distinguish
sarard and
araquabo.
Six
informants told me
araquabo
means red skin
and red hair. The one man who identified
himself as
araquabo
conformed to this
description.
But such discrimination must be
classed as subcultural. For most of
my
inform-
ants the terms sarard and
araquabo
share
TABLE II
Skin Hair Form Skin Hair Form
S
traigh
t
Wavy Kinky
S
traigh
t
Wavy Kinky
Light
0 0 1
Light
0 0 3
Medium 2 0 3 Medium 0 0 2
Dark 20 35 98 Dark 2 7 50
preto (N=159) negro (N=64)
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Sanjek]
BRAZILIAN RACIAL TERMS 1133
TABLE III
Skin Hair Form Skin Hair Form
Straight Wavy Kinky Straight Wavy Kinky
Light
2 5 141
Light
0 3 22
Medium 2 3 113 Medium 0 0 18
Dark 0 2 7 Dark 0 0 1
sarard
(N=275) araquabo (N=44)
the
components
of
light
skin and
kinky
hair.
Disagreement
arises in the other traits. But it
is with the first two traits that I am concerned.
(The appearance
of sarard and araquabo
as
responses
to the male
drawing
test is shown in
Table
III.)
(4)
cabo verde-caboclo. I am
arguing
that
cabo verde is the
logical
obverse of
sarard.
Many
informants volunteered the
description
"black with
good
hair"
(preto
do cabelo
bom)
as soon as I mentioned cabo verde.
Only
one
informant did not know the term. For skin
color, thirty-two
of
thirty-nine
informants
gave
answers
indicating
dark
coloring,
and the
rest
gave
either
moreno,
or darker terms. Of
the
thirty-nine, thirty-eight
said cabo verde
has
straight,
black hair. The results for nose
and
lip
form were about half thin and half
thick. Thirteen informants told me caboclo is
the same as cabo verde. One said it means
preto,
and three did not know the term. Of
the
twenty-three
who offered
descriptions,
all
said caboclo has black hair. For hair
form,
fifteen of
twenty-three responded straight,
five
kinky,
and three either
straight
or
kinky.
For skin
color,
fifteen of
twenty-three gave
dark
terms,
and the others
varied, although
most were between medium and dark. The
twenty-three
informants
responded
three to
one that caboclo has thick
lips
and nose.
The
correspondence
between cabo verde
and caboclo is the weakest for
any
of the four
paired terms, although strong
when
compared
to
correspondences
between other terms.
Consideration of the two features at
issue,
however,
reveals that about three
quarters
of
the informants
agree
that
caboclo,
like cabo
verde,
has dark skin and
straight
hair.
(The
TABLE IV
Skin Hair Form Skin Hair Form
Straigh
t
Wavy Kinky
S
traigh
t
Wacfy
Kinky
Light
1 1 0
Light
4 3 0
Medium 20 10 0 Medium 15 12 3
Dark 96 40 2 Dark 35 20 2
cabo verde
(N=170)
caboclo
(N=96)
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1134 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST
[73,1971
appearances
of cabo verde and caboclo as
responses
to the male
drawing
test are shown
in Table
IV.)
These
eight
terms had the
highest
levels of
agreement among
informants for the features
about which I
inquired.
For the
remaining
terms of
high salience,
the
agreement
was
considerably
less than for
caboclo,
as in the
cases of moreno and mulato.
Responses
for
other terms seem to indicate that there is
agreement,
but that it is
subcultural;
a small
number of
people
make the same
discrimination of a term from one of the more
salient
terms,
moreno claro from
moreno,
or
roxo from
preto,
for
example.
If we consider the salience for the
paired
terms,
that is sum the informants who use
either
one,
the
other,
or both terms in each
pair,
in the male
drawing test,
the results are
this:
Term Pair Salience
(n=60)
branco-alvo 57
preto-negro
56
sarara-araCuabo
51
cabo verde-caboclo 51
In terms of
competence,
not
salience,
at
least three
quarters
of the
forty
informants on
the
questionnaire
were able to describe
consistently
each of these
eight
terms.
Agreement
was
higher
for these terms than for
any
others. And
disagreement,
as I have
shown,
was in hair color and nose and
lip
form,
not in skin color and hair form.
What the salience
figures show,
I
believe,
is
that when asked about racial
categories,
Sitio
informants will offer most
readily
those terms
which are most
important
to them in
breaking
up
the domain of facial
appearances.
These
most salient terms contrast
according
to skin
color and hair form. The
higher
salience of
branco-alvo and
preto-negro
would indicate
that discriminations based
upon
color are even
more basic than those based
upon
hair
form.
I
will even
go
so far as to
argue
that children
learn first to differentiate racial
types by
color,
and then
by
hair form. I will offer
evidence to
support
this assertion.
Returning
to the other
terms,
moreno has a
salience of
fifty-four, comparable
with the
four term
pairs;
these
pairs
and moreno are
the core of the
system.
The next most salient
term is mulato at
twenty-two
of
sixty.
If we
expand
our two-variable
logical
domain to
conform more with
reality,
it is obvious that
intermediate hair forms and skin colors
exist. Such intermediate
types expand
the
domain to dimensions covered in the male
drawing
test. Table V shows the results of
this test
according
to three values for the
two variables of hair form and skin color.
Terms
appearing
for at least
fifty percent
of
TABLE V
Skin Hair Form
Straight Wavy Kinky
(1) (2) (3)
branco-alvo 190 79.8% branco-alvo 169 70.4%
iarard-araquabo
163 67.9%
moreno 10 moreno 10 branco-alvo 35 14.6
Light
cabo verde-caboclo 5
sararc-araquabo
8 moreno 8
sarard-araquabo 2 cabo verde-caboclo 4
preto-negro
3
preto-negro
0
preto-negro
0 cabo verde-caboclo 0
(4) (5) (6)
moreno 74 30.8% moreno 79 32.7%
sarard-araquabo
131 54.6%
branco-alvo 55 22.9 branco-alvo 67 27.9 moreno 35 14.6
Medium cabo verde-caboclo 35 14.6 cabo verde-caboclo 22 branco-alvo 18
moreno claro 28 11.7
sarard-araquabo
3
preto-negro
5
sarard-araquabo 2
preto-negro
0 cabo verde-caboclo 3
preto-negro
2
(7) (8) (9)
cabo verde-caboclo 128 53.3% cabo verde-caboclo 65 27.1%
preto-negro
148 61.7%
moreno 46 19.2 moreno 54 22.5 moreno 23
Dark
preto-negro
22
preto-negro
42 17.5
sarard-araquabo
8
sarara-araquabo
0
sarard-araqcuabo
2 cabo verde-caboclo 4
branco-alvo 0 branco-alvo 0 branco-alvo 0
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BRAZILIAN RACIAL TERMS
1135
the
responses
in a cell are underlined. With
the
exception
of moreno claro in cell
4,
no
term other than the four
pairs
and moreno
occurred for more than ten
percent
of the
responses
in
any
cell. The total
responses
in
each cell are 240.
Table VI
shows,
in schematic
form,
what
I believe to be the basic
cognitive map
shared
by
at least five-sixths of the
informants.
TABLE VI
Skin Hair Form
Straight Wavy Kinky
Light
branco sararda
Medium
moreno
Dark
cabo verde
pre to
The
Meaning of Moreno
At this
point,
I will
present
the data
which
pertain
to moreno from the
drawing
test and from the
questionnaire.
I think this
will show that on the
two-variable,
three-
value
grid,
moreno does fill the central area
where the occurrence of the four term
pairs
is most limited.
Thirty-nine
of
forty
informants
provided
descriptions
of moreno.
(One
said moreno is
the same as
claro.)
Of the
thirty-nine,
some
twenty-eight gave
words for skin color which
indicate medium shades.
(Twenty moreno,
three c6r de
canela,
two
media,
one meio
claro,
one claro and one mais
preto
do
mulato;
in this last
case,
the informant
regarded
mulato as
very light,
almost the
same as
branco.)
Nine other informants
gave
terms
indicating
dark
coloring. (Six escuro,
one
escurinho,
one
roxo,
and one car de
chocolate; preto
and
negro
were not
given
at
all for skin
color.)
Of the
remaining
informants,
one indicated a medium to dark
range,
and the other
gave
the
enigmatic
response
"escuro claro."
For hair
color,
almost all said dark.
Twenty-one
of
thirty-nine
informants
gave
straight
for hair
form,
and ten said
kinky.
Seven said moreno
may
have either
straight
or
kinky
hair.
(One
said media for hair
form.) Opinion
as to nose and
lip
form was
evenly
divided between thick and thin.
In terms of the two
variables,
the
pattern
of
responses
that
emerges
for moreno is
about
three-quarters
medium
skin,
one-quarter
dark
skin;
and two-thirds
straight hair,
one-third
kinky
hair. If the
four term
pairs
do tend to occur in the
corners of the schematic
grid,
and moreno
tends to fill
up
the central
area,
then the
responses
for
pictures indicating
the central
portion
of the
grid
should have the
highest
proportions
of moreno
responses. And,
as
corollaries,
the association of
kinky
hair
with moreno should be
greater
with medium
coloring
than with
dark,
and the association
of dark skin should be
greater
with
straight
hair than with
kinky.
The
appearance
of moreno
alone,
and of
all moreno-derived terms as
responses
to the
male
drawing
test tends to confirm this
proposition
and the two corollaries
(Table
VII).
The association with moreno and
light
skin is
very slight.
The occurrence is
greatest
with medium skin
coloring
and
straight
or
wavy
hair. Moreno occurs less often with
dark
skin,
but here the association is
stronger
with
wavy,
or
straight hair,
than
with
kinky. Finally,
a lesser but
significant
association with medium skin color and
kinky
hair
appears.
This
pattern
is reflected
in Table VI.
Although
moreno
appears
in each of the
nine
cells,
and was
given
at least once for
every
one of the
thirty-six pictures,
the
appearance
in the two cells where branco is
strongest,
and the cells in which sarara and
preto appear
most
often,
is weak
compared
to the
remaining
cells. Moreno occurs more
often in the fourth
logical pole, the cabo
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1136
AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST
[73,1971
TABLE VII
Skin Hair Form Skin Hair Form
Straight Wavy Kinky Straight Wavy Kinky
Light
10 10 8
Light
17 24 8
Medium 74 79 35 Medium 110 104 40
Dark 46 54 23 Dark 61 76 26
moreno
(N=339)
all moreno terms (N=466)
verde
area,
than in the other three. I think
the
relatively greater ambiguity
in this
portion
of the domain is attributable to the
comparatively
small number of individuals
possessing
the combination dark skin and
straight
hair.
Many
more individuals are
encountered in Sitio who
approach
the ideal
conceptions
of
sarardr,
branco
andpreto,
than
who could be called cabo verde.
An examination of the
pictures
most
often called moreno offers another line of
evidence. Seven
drawings
had from
seventeen to
twenty-eight (of sixty)
moreno
responses.
Of these
seven,
six have medium
coloring
and one
dark;
all had either
good
or
wavy
hair. The next five
pictures,
with
thirteen moreno
responses each,
were either
of medium or dark skin
coloring,
and
good
or
wavy hair,
with one
exception.
This
drawing
had
kinky hair,
but medium
coloring. (This
last
type
is often called
moreno in
Sitio,
less often sarart. Of the
twenty-two
informants who identified
themselves as
moreno,
at least three fit this
description.)
Some 83.9% of the moreno
responses
fit the
pattern
I have described for
moreno.
A final bit of data
suggests
that
although
moreno could be used for
any
set of facial
features,
it is not felt to be
appropriate
for
dark skin and
kinky
hair. The most African
of
my
informants identified himself to me as
moreno. We were alone at the time. I asked
other informants what
they
would call this
man.
They
all
replied "preto."
This man's
brother,
who had thinner
lips
and nose than
his
sibling,
identified himself as
preto.
Other
people agreed;
one told me he was
"bem
pretinho,
but a
good
man."
IV
I administered the set of
thirty-six
male
drawing
to 121
children, sixty-three girls
and
fifty-eight boys,
between the
ages
of five
and nineteen. Most of the tests of children
under fourteen were conducted in four
schools in Sitio. I was able to sit in a room
separate
from the main
classroom,
and to
give
the test to each child
individually.
The
tests for most of the fifteen-to-nineteen-
year-olds
were collected in the same manner
as the adult
sample;
I
gave
the tests to as
many
individuals as I could find.
I have divided the results into four
age
cohorts: under
ten,
ten to
twelve,
thirteen to
fifteen and sixteen to nineteen.
Only
seven
of the children tested were either below
seven or above
eighteen
in
age (one boy six,
three
girls five,
one
boy nineteen,
two
girls
nineteen).
Ten of the oldest children formed
part
of the adult
sample
of
sixty.
None of
them is married.
In order to consider this data as indicative
of how the racial
vocabulary
is
learned,
I
must first demonstrate that it is learned
cumulatively
while
growing up (and not,
for
example,
learned in a
lump
at
puberty).
I
believe that the
average
number of terms
used
by
the
age
cohorts for the male
drawing
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Sanjek ]
BRAZILIAN RACIAL TERMS 1137
Age
Cohort Male
Averages
Female
Averages
under 10 3.1
(n=19)
3.1
(n=20)
10-12 3.8
(n=21)
4.3
(n=17)
13-15 5.1
(n=10)
5.3
(n=13)
16-19 7.0
(n= 8)
6.1
(n=13)
adult 8.4
(n=29)
9.0
(n=31)
test shows that this
vocabulary
is in fact
learned over time.
I have summarized the children's
responses by
cohort under four
headings:
(1)
What
portion
of each cohort makes a
distinction between black and
white,
or dark
and
light
skin color? I use the
presence
of
preto
and
negro
as indicators that dark skin
is
discriminated,
and branco and alvo
for
light
skin.
(Alvo
is not used in the under-ten
cohort.)
(2)
How
many
terms
beyond
the
black/white dichotomy
are used?
(3)
What
portion
of each cohort makes
distinctions on the basis of hair form? On
the basis of the results from the adult
samples,
I use the
presence
of
sarard,
cabo
verde and caboclo as indicators that hair
form discriminations are
being
made
independently
of skin color distinction.
(4)
What terms are used
beyond
the
indicators,
and what is their salience?
Under 10
(n=39)
(1)
Almost all
(36)
made the
black/white
distinction. Two others used terms indicat-
ing
a
dark/light
discrimination. One used
only
moreno.
(2)
One-third
(12)
used
only
two terms.
One-third
(13)
used
only
three
terms,
four
of them
using
moreno as the third term.
One-third
(13)
used at least four terms.
(3) Less
than a third
(11)
made the hair
form discrimination. Sarara was used
by
ten
children,
and cabo verde
by
two. Caboclo
did not
appear
at all.
(4) Eight
terms were used
beyond
the
indicators. In order of salience
they
were:
amarelo 6/39
escuro
5
claro
4
vermelho 4
c6r de cinza 2
louro 1
mulato 1
verde 1
10-12
(n=38)
(1)
Almost all
(34)
made the
black/white
distinction. The other four used roxo or
escuro,
with
branco,
to make a
dark/light
discrimination.
(2) Only
three children used no more
than two terms. Less than a third
(11)
used
only
three
terms,
nine of them
using
moreno
as the third term. Two-thirds
(25)
used at
least four terms.
(3)
Less than a third
(11)
made the hair
form discrimination. Sarara was used
by
seven
children,
caboclo
by
four and cabo
verde
by
three.
(4) Eight
terms were used
beyond
the
indicators:
escuro 10/38
claro 7
mulato 5
roxo 5
louro 3
amarelo 1
escurinho 1
vermelhaqa
1
13-15
(n=23)
(1)
All made the
black/white
distinction.
(2)
Almost all
(22)
used at least four
terms. All of these used moreno.
(3)
About
three-quarters (17)
made the
hair form discrimination. Fourteen children
used
sararac,
five cabo verde and three
caboclo.
(4)
Fifteen terms were used
beyond
the
indicators:
mulato 5/23
escuro 3
louro 3
claro 2
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1138 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST
[73,1971
amarelo 1
escurinho 1
moreno claro 1
moreno escuro 1
nega 1
pretao 1
roxo 1
roxo claro 1
ruivo 1
sarari miolo 1
saruabo 1
16-19
(n=21)
(1)
All made the
black/white
distinction.
(2)
Almost all
(20)
used at least five
terms. All of these used moreno. The
only
children to use more than
eight
terms were a
boy
of sixteen
(nine terms)
and a
boy
of
eighteen (fifteen terms).
(3)
Two-thirds
(14)
made the hair form
discrimination
(seven
of
eight boys
and seven
of thirteen
girls).
Sarara
was used
by
all
fourteen,
cabo verde
by nine,
and caboclo
by
one.
(4)
Seventeen terms were used
beyond
the indicators:
escuro
8/21
roxo 8
claro 5
moreno claro 4
mulato 4
escurinho 3
moreno escuro 3
saruabo 2
amarelo 1
araguabo 1
c6r de cinza
1
escuro alvo 1
escuro claro 1
louro 1
mameluco 1
roxinho 1
sarara miolo 1
Several conclusions about how racial
vocabulary
is learned can be drawn from
this data:
(1) I
believe the data
support my
hypothesis
that a
black/white
discrimination
is learned first. All but one of the under-10
children made at least a
light/dark
dichotomy
of the domain of racial
types
in
their
responses
to the set of
drawings.
The
results indicate that at least
by seven
years
of
age
almost all children
distinguish
dark
people
from
light people.
(2)
Moreno
becomes a more
important
term in
ordering
the domain as children
grow up. Only
a little more than a third of
the under-ten cohort used moreno at all.
Two-thirds of the
ten-to-twelve-year-olds
used moreno.
Only
two of the
forty-four
children of thirteen
years
and older did not
use moreno.
(3)
Discrimination
by
hair form seems to
be learned later
by
most children than the
color
trichotomy.
In the under-ten and the
ten to twelve
cohorts,
less than a third
distinguish by
hair form. Most of the
adolescents
(thirteen-
to
fifteen-year-olds)
indicate that hair form distinctions are
meaningful
to them. The sixteen- to
nineteen-year-old boys
are in line with the
trend,
but the
drop
in the sixteen- to
nineteen-year-old girls' recognition
of hair
form is anomalous.6
(4)
The
response
of the under-ten cohort
indicates that
during
this
age period
about
two-thirds use three terms to break
up
the
racial
domain,
but
only
one-third can
proceed beyond
this. After
ten, however,
nearly
all make at least a
trichotomy,
and
two-thirds use four or more terms.
By
thirteen almost all are
using
at least four
terms. At sixteen almost all children can use
at least five terms.
(5)
The lists of terms used
beyond
the
indicators show that an
increasingly larger
corpus
of terms is used as children
grow up.
Several
aspects
of the lists of terms
by
cohort are of interest.
(a)
Terms
denoting
colors are used
by
the
younger children,
but less often
by
the older ones. The salience of
verde,
vermelho,
vermelhaqa,
amarelo,
and c6r
de cinza
decreases,
or
disappears
in the
above-ten cohorts. All of these color
terms have
very
low salience in the adult
sample.
It would seem
young
children use
the words for color in the wider
environmental context to indicate skin
coloring,
but discontinue this
usage
as the
adult racial
vocabulary
is learned.
(b)
The words escuro
(dark)
and claro
(light),
which also have a range
of
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Sanjek ]
BRAZILIAN RACIAL TERMS
1139
meaning
in the wider environmental
context,
are used
by
children of all
ages
with a salience about the same or
greater
than in the adult
sample.
The salience of
escurinho increases with
age.
(c)
The terms
louro, mulato,
and roxo
appear
to be learned
by
some children in
the ten- to
twelve-year-old age range,
and
continue to be used
by some,
but not to
the extent that the indicator terms are
used.
(d)
With the thirteen- to
fifteen-year-old
cohort a
great expansion
in the number of terms encountered
occurs,
but these terms tend to be used
by very
few individuals.
Nega, pretao,
roxo claro and ruivo were used once in
the thirteen- to fifteen
group.
Escuro
alvo,
escuro
claro, mameluco,
and roxinho
appeared
once in the sixteen to nineteen
cohort. Moreno
claro,
moreno
escuro,
sarard
miolo,
and saruabo
(araquabo)
appeared
first in the thirteen to fifteen
cohort,
and continued to be
used,
even
more
frequently,
in the sixteen to nineteen
group.
These four
terms,
unlike the other
eight just mentioned,
have
significant
salience in the adult
sample.
These twelve
terms show the subcultural and
idiosyn-
cratic
usage
of the adults
becoming
established
among
the
teenagers.
Although
the
ability
to discriminate in
terms of color
(branco-moreno-preto)
is al-
most universal
by age thirteen,
some
people
for certain reasons
(lack
of
interest,
lack of
intelligence?)
never
proceed beyond
such a
comprehension.
For
example,
one infor-
mant,
a
forty-eight-year-old man, gave only
these three terms as
responses
to the male
picture
set. Another man of about
twenty-
five used
only
these three terms before he
became too bored to finish the test. I asked
him about other terms and he seemed
genuinely
not to know what I was
talking
about.
Most
people, however,
as the
drawing
test
and the
questionnaire indicate,
do make
discriminations on the basis of hair form as
well as color. As far as
generalizing
about
shared
competence, that is as far as I am
prepared
to
go.
Some informants make
many
more distinctions: sararai from sarard
miolo from
araquabo,
for
example;
some
have
very
clear ideas about the
meaning
of
mulato, roxo, escuro,
or
amarelo; some
make consistent discriminations
by
modi-
fying
moreno with
escuro,
claro and other
terms. Such subcultural or individual differ-
ences do not correlate with
sex, age,
or
social
strata,
but factors such as
family
traditions, experience
in other communities
and
acquaintance
with others who do make
more discriminations
may
all be relevant.
V
I am reluctant to claim that
my analysis
extends
beyond my sample or,
at
most,
beyond
Sitio. Studies within the state of
Bahia
report
terms which I did not find at all
(Kottak 1963;
Hutchinson
1957),
even
though
I asked
deliberately
several infor-
mants if
they
knew them. The term
mulato,
which has both low salience and low level of
agreement
in
Sitio,
is no doubt of
high
salience in other
parts
of Brazil as Harris'
data
(1970)
and a few tests I conducted with
the
picture
set in Salvador and Rio de
Janeiro
suggest.
I should add that several
informants in Sitio mentioned in conversa-
tions a term which is used for
preto
in Vila
do
Conde,
the nearest
community,
but
which, they said,
"we do not use in Sitio."
There are
good
historical reasons
why
a
dark/light dichotomy
should be of
primary
significance
within the Brazilian racial vocab-
ulary. Certainly
no one in Sitio has
forgotten
that the masters were white and the slaves
were black.
Although
I would not even
intimate that
learning recapitulates history,
further ethnohistorical
study
of the
origin
and historical
development
of racial
categori-
zations in Brazil
(cf.
Harris
1964b)
would be
interesting
in
light
of the data on how terms
are learned in the
contemporary
situation.
Faris
(1968),
in a
very
different
context,
has
also
suggested
that diachronic
studies,
both
of
history
and
learning processes,
can
only
illuminate
synchronic
emic
analysis.
Judging
from
my acquaintance with eth-
noscience, it
appears that racial
vocabulary
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1140 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST
[73,1971
in Sitio is a
considerably
less ordered seman-
tic domain than Subanun disease
terms,
Hanunoo color
categories
or most
kinship
terminologies.
It would seem
especially
valu-
able to conduct more studies of such rela-
tively
unordered domains in order to test
fully
the limits of
componential analysis.
In the absence of a number of
quantitative
studies, however,
such
designations
as "rela-
tively
ordered" or "unordered" are no more
than ad hoc. Even where minimal
quantitative
data
exist,
it
appears
that such
relatively
"ordered" domains as American
kinship
have
penumbras
of
ambiguity
and
disagreement
(Schneider
and Homans
1955;
Wallace and
Atkins
1960; Romney
and D'Andrade
1964b;
Goodenough 1965;
Schneider
1965;
Harris
1968:586-588).
Beyond developing rigorous quantitative
procedures,
it would seem the next
step
for
the New
Ethnography
is to formulate a series
of
hypotheses
about cultural
systems
as
wholes rather than to
hope
that series of
distinct studies
of, say,
kin
terms, plant
names,
and color
categories
will somehow add
up
to a full
ethnography.
If
anthropologists
attempted
to formulate
logically
all the
expected
semantic
domains,
and to make
hypotheses
about distribution and
learning,
a
series of studies could be conducted
leading
to
higher
level
generalizations
about the
cogni-
tive
organization
of the culture and its
relation to the environment. I am not
arguing
for what Mills called Grand
Theory.
What we
need is to un-Abstract our
Empiricism
and use
it to
ground
and test our Grand Theories. The
faults of the New
Ethnography
lie not in what
it
is,
but in what it is not.
It is
currently
fashionable to define culture
as a
"design
for
living,"
and to leave the
study
of
living
itself to
sociologists,
out-of-bounds
ethologists
or maverick
anthropologists.
But
even those who
accept
this division of
labor,
or
labour,
will have to face such
questions
as:
What is the
psychological reality
of the
analysis?
Are there subcultural variants or
alternatives? How
many people
in the
popu-
lation share the cultural elements? How does
the extent of
sharing vary
from trait to trait
and from
person
to
person?
How and when is
the cultural
pattern
learned?7 The
very
fact
that Frake admits that the Subanun
may
disagree,
even if
rarely,
means that
quantita-
tive
procedures
are
employable and,
I would
add,
desirable.8
APPENDIX
Primitive
Term Hair Form Claro-Escuro
Dim-Aug Other
23 moreno 54 de cabelo bom 4 claro 21 *moreninho 3 alvo 1
de cabelo liso 1 escuro 13 de cabelo bom 1 cabo verde 1
de cabelo escuhido 1 bem claro 1 escuro 1 sarard 1
de cabelo cachiado 1 bem escuro 1 cabelo bom 1 roxo 1
de cabelo ruim 1 escurinho 1
cdr de canela 2
cabelo sarard 1
laranjado
1
bronzeado 1
12 branco 52 cabelo bom 1
*brancozinho 1
legitimo
2
de cabelo bom 1
ndo
legitimo
1
de cabelo liso 1
limpo
1
de cabelo ruim 3
louro 1
sarara 1
*pouca
brancada 1
7 sarard 46
*sararazinho 1 miolo 6
*sararazao
1
legitimo
1
preto
1
*sararazado 2
7 caboclo 32 cabelo de
flecha
1 claro 1 *caboclinho 1 cabo verde 1
araquabo
1
*caboclado 1
7 mulato 22
claro 4 *mulatinho 1 bem
limpo
1
escuro 1
gazo
1
pre
to 1
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Sanjek ]
BRAZILIAN RACIAL TERMS 1141
Primitive Term Hair Form Claro-Escuro Dim-Aug O ther
7
negro
22 de cabelo bom 1
*negrinho legitimo
1
*nega
2
da africa
1
da costa 1
5
preto
41 de cabelo bom 1
*pretinho
1 moreno 1
*pretaoo
1
5 alvo 21 cabelo ruim 1 *alvinho 1 bem alvo 2
de cabelo ruim 1
5 roxo 11 de cabelo bom 1 claro 1 *roxinho 3
de cabelo bom 1
4 cabo verde 37 claro 1
legitimo
1
escuro 1
4 escuro 14 claro 1 *escurinho 8 alvo 1
3
araquabo
12 *asaruabo 1
(*saruabo)
2 louro 6 *lourinho 1
2 criolo 3 *criolinho
af-
ricano 1
2 indio 2 mais escuro 1
2
vermelhaqa
1 vermelho
1
1 claro 7
1 amarelo 3
1
mestigo
3
1 c6r de
cafe
com leite 1
1 c6r de canela 1
1 c6r de cinza 1
1 c6r de
fomiga
1
1
africano
1
1 chines 1
1
francesa
1
1
portugues
1
1 alema 1
1 amisturado 1
1 misturo 1
1
gazo 1
1 mameluco 1
1 marrom 1
1
pardo
1
1 ruivo 1
The entire
corpus
is listed. The number
preceding
each
primitive
term indicates the sum of the term and its
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1142 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST
[73,1971
modified forms. The number
following
each term is its salience, or how many of the sixty informants used
it in the male
drawing
test. The modified terms are listed under four headings: hair form designations, claro
and
escuro,
diminutives and augmentatives and other modifications. Only the additional element is listed,
unless the term is transformed. In those
cases,
the transformed form is listed and is indicated by an asterisk.
Modifications of transformed forms are indented.
NOTES
SFor
my wife, despite Hymes' hypothesis,
advertising,
not
periodicity
of
publication,
is
the element of
meaning
which
distinguishes
magazine
from book.
2Perhaps
as a result of the nonstatistical
work to
date,
within the New
Ethnography
the
precise
boundaries of the
"society"
or
"culture" under consideration have been at
best
vaguely
delimited. As all
anthropolog-
ical fieldwork involves
sampling
from the
behavior stream in one
way
or
another,
the
relation of
sample
to universe is critical.
Were an
operational
definition of
society
and culture
(Harris 1964a:182-183) applied
in
conjunction
with
quantitative procedures,
such
indeterminacy
would
disappear.
3 My preference
for a statistical
grounding
of "social facts" as
against
intuitive
impres-
sions is based
upon
fieldwork
experience
as
well as
my
theoretical orientation. The term
vermelhaqa seemed to be
very important
and
consistently
defined in the first few
conversations I had with
my
immediate
neighbors
in Sitio.
However,
not a
single
adult used the term in the
picture
set
test,
and
only
two children used it. In the
questionnaire results, ambiguity reigned.
Those who
provided descriptions
varied con-
siderably,
and a third of the informants did
not know the term at all. To
complete my
point,
two said it meant
German,
and one
said it meant
gringo.
Had I relied
upon
nonstatistical
impressions
of what seemed to
be the "common
knowledge" meaning
of
the
term,
I would have been
wrong.
4
The
research in Brazil was
supported by
the Columbia-Cornell-Harvard-Illinois Sum-
mer Field Studies
Program
and
supervised by
Marvin Harris of Columbia
University.
Field-
work was conducted in
Portuguese,
with the
help
of
Ney
Dos Santos of Sitio.
5In terms of this last
context,
on the
basis of her fieldwork in Chile where a
similar but less
complex system obtains,
Sister Jennifer
Oberg
has
pointed
out to me
that
identifying
one actor
as, say, moreno,
may
indicate
merely
that he is more
"moreno" in
appearance
than others.
6
Anna Lou de Havenon and Judith
Shapiro
have
suggested
that the lower
pro-
portion
of sixteen- to
nineteen-year-old girls
who make hair form distinctions
may
be
connected to the fact that
girls
of this
age
almost all
straighten
their hair. The small
sample
size
may
also be
responsible
for this
odd
figure.
7Cf. the
questions
Wallace raises about
Schneider's
generalizations concerning
the
American
kinship system (1969:105-106).
8
The influence of Marvin Harris'
teaching
and
writing
is obvious. to readers of this
paper.
The advice of Allen Johnson was
indispensable
as well. I would also like to
thank
Georges
Condominas and the members
of his
spring
1969 seminar in fieldwork
techniques,
and the members of Dr. Johnson's
spring
1969 seminar in
quantitative
methods
for
hearing portions
of this
paper
and for
offering
me their ideas. I am
grateful
to
Roy
D'Andrade,
David
Epstein,
Daniel
Gross,
and
Joseph
Schaeffer for their
encouragement
and
suggestions.
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