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Posted: Thursday April 15, 2010
Franz Boas

Franz Boas greatly influenced American anthropology, particularly in his development of the theoretical framework known as cultural relativism, which argued against the evolutionary scale leading from savagery to Culture, laid out by his 19th-century predecessors. He believed that cultures (plural) are too complex to be evaluated according to the broad theorizing characteristic of evolutionary “laws” of developing culture (singular). Instead, Boas sought to understand the development of societies through their particular histories. As a student of Native American languages, Boas emphasized the importance of linguistic analysis from internal linguistic structure, and pointed out that language was a fundamental aspect of culture. Indian Myths & Legends from the North Pacific Coast of America, includes his earliest research in British Columbia concerning First Nations myths and legends.


December 2014 : RALPH MAUD 1928 – 2014


Indian Myths & Legends from the North Pacific Coast of America

Finalist for the 2003 BC Book Prize: Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize


Indian Myths & Legends from the North Pacific Coast of America

“This is one of the richest collections of mythological texts available for the whole of the American continent.”
— Claude Lévi-Strauss, from the Foreword

“… these stories comprise the true matter of British Columbia … I can’t think of a work … more impressive in its contribution to the future generations of this province.”
— Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun

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