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FREDERICK RUSSELL EGGAN September 12, 1 906-May 7, 1 991 BY EVON Z. VO GT, JR. FRED EGGAN, WHO DIED IN Santa Fe, New Mexico, on May 7, 1991, in his eighty-fourth year, was universally recog- nize(1 as one of the great anthropologists of the twentieth century. His pivotal contribution to anthropological science cluring his Tong, productive life consisted! of a creative syn- thesis of American historical ethnology with the structural- functional approach of British social anthropology, espe- cially in a series of rigorous, comparative studies of the kinship anct social systems of Native Americans in the South- west and on the Plains. In aciclition, he macle notable con- tributions to our knowledge of the cultures of tribal groups in the northern Philippines. Fred Eggan was born in Seattle, Washington, on Septem- ber 12, 1906, one of two children (the other a younger sister) of Alfrecl Julius Eggan and Olive M. Smith. His fa- ther was born into a large family in Rushford, Minnesota, a small working-cIass Norwegian-American community. He was a bright, restless boy who loved adventure ant! travel to faraway places. At the age of fifteen he enlisted in the U.S. Navy for a ten-year stint. After his clischarge, Alfred trier! a number of unsuccessful business ventures and eventually moved to Illinois, where he joined the U.S. Merchant Ma- 85
86 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS rine and became a petty officer serving in the engineering department of ships sailing through the Great Lakes. Frect's mother, Olive M. Smith, of old Yankee stock, was born in Armenia, New York, where her father was a success- ful micIdle-ciass businessman. Olive was a well-clisciplinecl schoolteacher who taught her cherished son to work hard and to love books. By the time Fret! was in the eighth grade, the family had mover! three times from Seattle, to Vancouver, to Rushford, to Lake Forest, a well-to-clo suburb of Chicago, where they lived on the wrong side of the tracks. Fred's love of books was further enhanced when, at the age of twelve, he con- tractecl a serious case of typhoid fever and was not permit- tec! to attend school for a year. He promptly discovered the public library, where he happily spent most of the year. Fret! later graduates! from the Deerfielc3 Township High School, excelling in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. He enrolled in the University of Chicago in 1923, and in 1924 his parents moved again to an apartment near the university, which they occupied cluring Frec3's unclergraclu- ate and graduate years. The family was forcer! to make many sacrifices to send their two children to college. Both chil- ciren lived at home until they completer! their graduate work, and their mother took in boarders to supplement · ~ t 1elr income. After first contemplating a degree in business aciministra- tion (in which he atten(le(1 classes with James B. Griffins, young Eggan shifted to psychology as a major. But during his college days he was also exposed to geography courses, which intensified his interest in faraway places and peoples, ant! he stumbler! by chance into an anthropology course on "Peoples and Races" taught by the newly appointed head of the department, Fay-Cooper Cole, who hacl been trained by Franz Boas at Columbia. As Eggan remembered in retro-
FREDERICK RUSSELL EGGAN 87 specs, "Cole was a dynamic and inspiring lecturer whose enthusiasm for the subject was contagious" and this course launched him on lifelong involvement with anthropology (Eggan, 1974, p. 5~. While still an undergraduate, Eggan and his classmate, Cornelius Osgood, were invited by Fay-Cooper Cole to join a graduate seminar on India taught jointly by Cole and Ec~warcI Sapir, who hacl been brought to the university in 1925. The two undergraduates were exciter! by being al- lowed to attend the seminar, until the topics were assigned. Eggan reported We protested we were neophytes, with only two or three weeks of introduc- tory anthropology, but the faculty decreed it to be a "working seminar." I was given the topic, "The Caste System of India," and disappeared into the stacks for a month where I read all the reports on caste in the census volumes and other tomes. I survived the experience and produced a paper, but I have been happy to leave the caste system to others ever since. (Eggan, 1974, p. 6) Even though Eggan slid a year of graduate work in psy- chology and wrote a master's thesis in 192S, titian "An Ex- perimental Study of Attitudes Towarcl Race and National- ity," uncler the supervision of the eminent psychometrician, L. L. Thornclike, he tract aIreacly deciclect he wanted to be an anthropologist. Unfortunately, there was little support for graduate work, especially for a student changing fielcis, so he took a teaching post for two years at Wentworth Jun- ior College and Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri, where he was assignee! courses in psychology, sociology, and history and saved enough money to return to graduate work in anthropology in the summer of 1930. By this time Fay-Cooper Cole had aciclecl Robert Redfield, who hacl just returned from his fielcl study of TepoztIan, Mexico, to the staff as an instructor and hacl moved to establish a separate department of anthropology. While Cole
88 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS taught physical anthropology anc! archeology, Sapir covered linguistics anc! ethnology, with excursions into culture and personality, and RecIfielct offered courses in folk culture and peasant society. Cole also organized field expeditions to survey and dig archeological sites in Illinois, anti Erect Eggan spent several summers excavating Indian mounds and village sites in the MicIdle West. He later participated in the archeological Awatovi Expedition of Professor I. O. Brew in Hopi country in the summers of 1939 and 1940. These early interests in archeology are reflected in his ar- ticle, "The Ethnological Cultures en c! Their Archaeological Backgrounds" (1952), as well as in much of his other work on North American cultures. During this same period, Eggan also took courses at Chicago with visiting professor Leslie Spier, who first sparked his interest in kinship ant! South- western ethnology. In 1931 there occurred an even more momentous hap- pening in the career of Fred Eggan. Fay-Cooper Cole re- cruitecI A. R. Radcliffe-Brown to replace Ec~warc! Sapir, who left Chicago to become Sterling Professor of Anthropology and Linguistics at Yale. Eggan attencled Radcliffe-Brown's course on family, kin, and clan and was stimulated by the erudition anc! fresh theoretical orientation he brought to the (department. Racl cliffe-Brown vigorously attacker! the ethnological work done by American anthropologists and advocated the synchronic study of social structures as func- tioning wholes. He also contenclecI that a comparison of these structures could provide a set of principles of organi- zation comparable to the principles cliscovered by biolo- gists for the organization and functioning of organisms. R- B (as he was caller! by his colleagues) arrived at Chicago with a program for reanalyzing the social structures of the American Indian in the manner he had developed in his research with the Australian aboriginals. Eggan became R-
FREDERICK RUSSELL EGGAN 89 B's research assistant, with the task of reviewing publica- tions on the American Indian and writing summaries of what was known and what needled to be clone (Fogelson, 979, pp. ~ 63-64) . In the summer of 1932 Eggan was selected for a Labora- tory of Anthropology (Santa Fe) fellowship for field train- ing in ethnology, and he joiner! Ec~warct Kennard (Colum- bia), Mischa Titiev (Harvard), Jess Spirer (Yale), and Georges Devereaux (France) in a fielcl party that spent the summer among the Hopi uncler the direction of Leslie White. The experience was formative for Eggan, who subsequently had a lifelong association with the Hopi, during which he revo- lutionizec! our understanding of their social organization. Fred was now fully committed to social anthropology and clearly perceives! the need for new theory to illuminate Boasian empiricism (Fenton, 1992, p. 434~. The Hopi research led to a Ph.D. dissertation on the social organization of the Western Pueblos (Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, and I,aguna), which Eggan completecl in 1933, later revising and publishing it (Eggan, 1950~. In this landmark study, Eggan macle brilliant analyses of each of the Western Pueblo social structures as functioning wholes, then com- parect the four, and contrasted the Western Pueblos with the Eastern Pueblos (who live along the Rio Grande). He focused especially on the contrast between the "lineage prin- ciple" he found in the kinship systems of the Zuni and Hopi with their crucial matrilineal clans and the "principle of dual organization" of the Eastern Pueblos with their "Sum- mer People" and "Winter People," each with their own cer- emonial kivas. He clemonstrated how the variations currently observed in the Pueblo social structures are relater! to cul- tural adaptations to ecological niches (ciry-land agriculture in the west versus irrigation agriculture in the east) and in historical experiences heavy Spanish contact along the Rio
go BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS Grancle compared to slight Spanish influence in the far western Pueblos of Zuni and Hopi. In the summer of 1933 Eggan undertook a brief field! trip among the Mississippi Choctaw and the Cheyenne and Arapaho in Oklahoma (Eggan, 19371. Armec] with these ciata and supplemented with detailec] library stucly, he dis- coverecl that these kinship systems were not immutable but subject to changes clue to shifts in ecological settings and historical experiences. He also fount! that their joking rela- tionship functioned systematically to regulate respect ant! avoidance relationships among kin. Eggan likewise clemon- strated how a tribe like the Cheyenne could change from a lineage-type kinship system nicely adapted to a settlecI agri- cultural existence in southwestern Minnesota during the early historic period to a generation-type system when they were pushed onto the Plains by other tribes, became no- maclic buffalo hunters with horses and rifles, en cl neecled bands of "brothers" for efficient hunting ant! fighting on the High Plains (Eggan, 19371. From this research emerged his classic presidential ad- ciress to the American Anthropological Association on "So- cial Anthropology and the Method of Controlled Compari- son" (1954), in which he cogently laicl out the theoretical an c! me thoclological dimension s of a comparative me thoc! that has been widely acimirec! and utilizer! by anthropolo- gists during the past four decades. By "controlled compari- son" Eggan meant essentially that the cases for comparative treatment are best selected when they are either (~) a small number of cases that are cultural variations set within a geographical ant! historical frame (such as the Southwest- ern Pueblos or the tribes of the American Plains) or (2) are variations on a given type of social structure (such as moi- ety systems). Eggan continued to work with this method of controlled
FREDERICK RUSSELL EGGAN 91 comparison cluring most of his professional career; two of his last publications were a brilliant review titled "Shoshone Kinship Structures and Their Significance for Anthropo- logical Theory" ~1980) and a masterful article on the South- west entitled "Comparative Social Organization" (1983~. The other area of the woricI in which Fred Eggan en- gagec! in basic fielc! research and scientific publication was the northern Philippines. Although his anthropological data on the Philippines were never so fully analyzecI and pub- lished as they were on the American Indian cultures of the Southwest en cl the Plains mainly because of the interrup- tions of WorIc! War II, the restrictions imposer! by the Marcos regime on anthropological research, and the subsequent administrative duties he undertook- Fred collected signifi- cant information and published a number of funciamental papers on the tribal cultures of northern Luzon as he fur- ther developer! his structural-historical concepts (Sahlins, 1992, p. 24~. In 1934 Eggan hac! hoper! to undertake two years of field research in the Kimberly district of Australia on an Austra- lian National Research Council postcloctoral fellowship ar- rangec! by RacicTiffe-Brown. He hacI just spent the winter season of 1933-34 doing field research among the Hopi. But when he returned to Chicago in March, President Roosevelt hacI just clevalucc! the clolIar. Since the Australian National Research Council receiver! a large portion of its funds from the Rockefeller Foundation, it was forced to cancel Eggan's fellowship. At this point, Fay-Cooper Cole came to the rescue with a proposal that Eggan go to the Philippines. Cole hac] always wanted to sencl a young an- thropologist there to study what had happenec! to the Tinguian, whom he and his wife hac! stucliec! in 1907 and 1908. He drafted a proposal and fount! the funds for Eggan. But Fret! was disappointed. In his words: "It was attractive
92 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS but T wouIc3 have preferrer! going to Australia. ~ hac! always been studying other people's tribes, and it would have been ~0 fun to have a tribe of my own" (Eggan, 1974, p. 121. Nonetheless, Eggan dutifully went to the Philippines, with a stop in Japan for a month, where he traveled around staying in rural inns and climbing Mt. Fuji with two com- panions he met on the ship crossing the Pacific. He arrived in Manila in the fall of 1934 and checked in with H. Otley Beyer, the one remaining anthropologist in the Philippines, who took Eggan in charge and outfitted him "in white cot- ton cluck for Manila ant! brown cotton for the fielcI." Eggan spent the 1934-35 year in the Abra Province of Luzon, learning some of the language, collecting ciata on all aspects of Tinguian life, and focusing his research inter- ests on problems of social and cultural change. His princi- pal mentor and informant was "Dumagat, the son of a heacI- man whom Cole hacI brought to Chicago to help him with setting up exhibits in the Fielc] Museum, ant! who had then stayed on in America until the onset of the Depression" (Eggan, 1974, p. 15~. He later workoct farther up the Abra River and travelecI to almost all the communities in Abra, inclucling one journey over the Corclillera with a group of in- . 1 1ngulans. The results of this field research appeared in a number of papers, the most important being "Some Asnects of Cul- ture Change in the Northern Philippines" (1941), in which _~~ ~ 1 tggan reportect on the regular series of changes in social, political, economic, and religious institutions he cliscovered as he travelecI from the interior to the coastfrom the Ifugao through the Bontok, Tinguian, and Ilocano. To define these changes, he introclucecl the notion of cultural drift, aciapted from Sapir's concept of linguistic ([rift. lust as Fred Eggan was getting really to return to the United States, he received word that he was being offered a
FREDERICK RUSSELL EGGAN 93 position as instructor at the University of Chicago, with his time being dividec] between the Extension Program and the Department of Anthropology. After serving for five years as instructor, he served as assistant professor (1940-42), asso- ciate professor (1942-48), anct professor (1948-63~. He then became the Harold H. Swift Distinguished Service Profes- sor of Anthropology until he retirecT in 1974. During this period he served as department chairman twice (1948-52 and 1961-63), in an era when the Department of Anthro- pology at Chicago was consiclerect first in the nation. In lL938 Fred Eggan married Dorothy Way, who visited the Hopi Reservation with him frequently and worker! with him in cloing field research. She became noted for her research on Hopi dreams.2 During WorIcl War rim, Fred Eggan was called to duty as chief of research, Office of Special Services, Philippine Com- monwealth Government. Later he became a captain in the army after graduating from the School for Military Govern- ment in Charlottesville and was assignee! to duty in Chicago as the director of the Civil Affairs Training School for the Far East (1943-451. In 1945 he also served as a Cultural Relations Officer for the Department of State. Following the war, Eggan became the director of the Philippine Study Program at the Universitv of Chicanos a nost he helc! until his retirement. O ~ Eggan finally managed to return to acIditional field! re- search in the Philippines when he was appointee! as a Fulbright Research Scholar at the University of the Philip- pines during 1949-50, where he helped train young Philip- pine anthropologists. His fieldwork cluring that Fulbright year was focused on Sagada, an Igorot community west of Bontoc. From this research flowed a number of papers on the Philippines, the most notable being his article titled "Cultural Drift ant! Social Change" (1963), which appeared
94 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS in the Festschrift for Melville l. Herskovits. Eggan also served as the supervisor of the four-volume Area Handbook on the Philippines (1956) published by the Human Relations Area Files, Tnc. In the 1960s Fred Eggan became one of our most es- teemecl senior anthropologists. His contributions were rec- ognized by his election to the American Philosophical Soci- ety in 1962 and to the American Academy of Arts en c! Sciences en c] the National Academy of Sciences in 1963, as well as by being invited to cleliver the Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture at the University of Rochester in ~ 964. The Morgan Lecture gave Eggan an opportunity to make a modern appraisal of the scientific achievements of Lewis Henry Morgan, to summarize and synthesize his own schol- arly efforts to understand! changes in kinship systems, and to establish a link with that first American scholar to uncler- take a systematic study of kinship.3 The lectures were pub- lishec3 as The American Ind fan ~ ~ 966) and they constitute, in the wise worsts of one of Eggan's students: "the most thor- ough en c! reaciable synthesis of American Indian kinship and social organization in the literature and serve as a moclel comparative stu(ly" (DeMallie, 1991, p. 1751. The 1960s were also a time of personal turmoil for Fred Eggan with the long illness of his first wife, Dorothy, who died in 1965 and to whose memory he (1edicatecl the publi- cation of the Morgan Lecture (Eggan, 19661. In 1969 Fret! married his seconct wife, Joan Rosenfels, a photographer and psychotherapist, who is well known in anthropological circles for her remarkable photographs of anthropologists, some of which are in the Royal Anthropo- logical Institute in Lonclon. Fred and Joan led busy en c! happy lives together in Chicago, where Joan practiced psy- chotherapy for over twenty-five years as a therapist with the students of the Laboratory Schools of the University of Chi-
FREDERICK RUSSELL EGGAN 95 cago and as a psychological consultant to school adminis- trators and pediatricians. In Santa Fe, where they moved upon Frecl's retirement, Joan served as a psychological con- sultant to two private schools; her present private practice is mainly limiter! to adults in the arts. She is likewise cur- rently undertaking a study of Jungian ciream analysis with the hope of analyzing the cireams of Don Talayesva (whose biography was published in the book Sun Chief) that were collected over the years by Dorothy Eggan. In 1970 Eggan was a visiting fellow at All Souls College at Oxford. He clelivered the Sir fames Frazer Lecture at Cam- bridge University in 1971 and became a corresponding fel- low of the British Academy in 1974. He also served on many boards, councils, and committees, becoming president of the American Anthropological Society in 1953 and a mem- ber of the Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1982-85) and of the Council of the American Philo- sophical Society (1983-861. In his retirement in Santa Fe, Fret! Eggan continued his work on the Indians of the Southwest and became a crucial researcher, consultant, and champion for the Hopis and Zunis in their lance claims against the U.S. government. The deep respect these Pueblos hacI for Fret! Eggan and his work is expressed in the following message (in part) to his widow from Vernon Masayesva, chairman, and Abbott Sekaquaptewa, past chairman, of the Hopi Tribal Council at the time of his cleath: We will miss Dr. Eggan greatly, but we realize that his contribution to understanding and documenting Hopi culture, and his involvement with our eternal struggle to recover our ancestral lands will be his everlasting legacy to the Hopi Tribe. May the Great Spirit be with you and your family and with Fred as he continues his journey to join his ancestors. (personal communication from Joan Eggan, November 2, 19911.
96 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS Fred Eggar1 had a great capacity for friendship and be- came a mentor for dozens of students and younger col- leagues in anthropology (including this author)as an "older brother" when he was younger, and as an "urge" when he became older. He also made countless indirect contribu- tions to science in his service on boards, panels, and com- mittees that perform the annual decisions and tasks that must be done for our enterprise to carry on and move forward. He has indeed been described as "the mode! an- thropologist of his generation" (Fenton, 1992, p. 4351. But Fred Eggan's greatest impact in the Tong run will come from his publications, which exhibit, in the thought- ful words of one of his younger colleagues at the University of Chicago: "His clarity of vision, ability to reduce complex phenomena to their essentials with minimum distortion, and capacity to demonstrate productive connections between hitherto disparate approaches and theories..." (Fogelson, 1979, p. 1651. Fred Eggan and his scholarly contributions will be long and warmly remembered by his colleagues in anthropology and other sciences throughout the world, as well as by his countless friends among the peoples he studied in North America and in the Philippines. NOTES 1. The author has drawn on the biographical files of the Na- tional Academy of Sciences and the reminiscences and comments of loan Rosenfels Eggan and James B. Griffin, as well as on various autobiographies, biographies, and obituaries of Fred Eggan, includ- ing Raymond J. De Mallie, "Eggan, Fred" in International Directory of Anthropologists, ed. C. Winter, pp. 174-75, New York: Garland, 1991; Fred Eggan, "Among the Anthropologists," Annual Review of Anthro- pology 3~1974~:1-19; William N. Fenton, "Fred Russell Eggan," Pro- ceedings of the American Philosophical Society 136~1992) :433-34; Raymond D. Fogelson, "Eggan, Fred," Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences: Bio-
FREDERICK RUSSELL EGGAN 97 graphical Supplement 18~1979~:163-66; Marshall Sahlins, "Fred Eggan: History and Structure," Anthropology Today 8 (Feb. 1992~:23-25; Ernest L. Schusky, "Fred Eggan: Anthropologist Full Circle," American Eth- nologist 16~1989~:142-57; Aram A. Yengoyan, "Fred Eggan (1906- 199l ~ ,"1oumal of Asian Studies 50 (1991 I: 101 7-19; and Mario D. Zamora, "Fred Russell Eggan 1906-1991," Eastern Anthropologist 44~1991 ~ :313- 14. 2. See Dorothy Eggan, "The Significance of Dreams for Anthro- pological Research," American Anthropologist 51 ~ 1949) :177-98; "The Manifest Content of Dreams: A Challenge to Social Science," Ameri- can Anthropologist 54~1952~:469-85; and "The Personal Use of Myth in Dreams, " journal of American Folklore 68 ~ 1955) :445-53. 3. See Lewis Henry Morgan, Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, Smithsonian Contributions of Knowledge, vol. 17. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
98 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 1934 The Maya kinship system and cross-cousin marriage. Am. Anthropol. 36:188-202. 1937 Ed. Social Anthropology of North American Tribes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. The Cheyenne end Arapaho kinship systems. In SocialAnthropology of North American Tribes, ed. F. Eggan, pp. 35-95. Chicago: Univer- sity of Chicago Press. Historical changes in the Choctaw kinship system. Am. Anthropol. 39:34-52. 1941 Some aspects of culture change in the northern Philippines. Am. Anthropol. 43:11-18. 1949 The Hopi and the lineage principle. In Social Structure: Studies Pre- sented to A.R. Radcliffe-Brown, ed. M. Fortes, pp. 121-44. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1950 Social Organization of the Western Pueblos. Chicago: University of Chi- cago Press. 1952 The ethnological cultures and their archaeological backgrounds. In Archaeology of the Eastern United States, ed. J. B. Griffin, pp. 35-45. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1954 Social anthropology and the method of controlled comparison. Am. Anthropol. 56:743-61.
FREDERICK RUSSELL EGGAN 1955 99 Ed. Social Anthropology of North American Tribes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. End edition. Social anthropology: methods and results. In Social Anthropology of North American Tribes, ed. F. Eggan, pp. 485-551. Chicago: Univer- sity of Chicago Press. 1956 Ritual myths among the Tinguian. [. Am. Folklore 69:331-39. With W. L. Warner. A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, 1881-1955. Am. Anthropol. 58:544-47. 1958 Glottochronology: a preliminary appraisal of the North American data. In Proceedings, 32nd International Congress of Americanists, pp. 645-53. Copenhagen: Munksgaard. 1961 With R. H. Lowie. Kinship terminologies. Encyclopedia Britannica vol. 13, pp. 407-409. 1963 Cultural drift and social change. (Papers in honor of Melville Herskovits) Curr. Anthropol. 4:347-55. 1964 J Alliance and descent in a western Pueblo society. In Process and Pattern in Culture, ed. R. Manners, pp. 175-84. Chicago: Aldine Press. 1966 The American Indian: Perspectives for the Study of Social Change. Chi- cago: Aldine Press. 1967 From history to myth: a Hopi example. In Studies in Southwestern Ethnolinguistics, ed. D. Hymes, pp. 33-53. The Hague: Mouton.
00 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS 1972 Lewis Henry Morgan's Systems: a reevaluation. In Kinship Studies in the Morgan Centennial Year, ed. P. Reining, pp. 1-16. Washington, D.C.: Anthropological Society of Washington. 1974 Among the anthropologists. Annul Rev. Anthropol. 3:1-19. 1979 Pueblos: introduction. In Handbook of the North American Indians, Vol. 9: Southwest, ed. A. Ortiz, pp. 224-35. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. With T. N. Pandoy. Zuni history: 1850-1970. In Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 9: Southwest, ed. A. Ortiz, pp. 474-84. Wash- ington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. 1979 Beyond the bicentennial: the future of the American Indian in the perspectives of the past. [. Anthropol. Res. 34:161-80. 1980 Shoshone kinship structures and their significance for anthropo- logical theory. [. Steward Anthropol. Soc. 11:165-93. 1983 Comparative social organization. In Handbook of North American Indi- ans, Vol. 10: Southwest, ed. A. Ortiz, pp. 723-43. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.