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By Manuel Gamio

Fue Manuel Gamio (1883-1960) uno de los más notables antropólogos de México. Sus trabajos iniciales, hasta el año de 1925, los consagró particularmente a l. a. arqueología, y después, sin olvidarse de aquella preocupación, abordó el estudio de las cuestiones sociales, con singular predilección por l. a. existencia precaria de los grupos indígenas. Completó su exertions de investigador con oportunas reflexiones sobre el mundo prehispánico y lá significación de sus rules. Esta antología, preparada por Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, reúne textos sobresalientes tanto en lo que se refiere a sus actividades profesionales como en lo que atañe a sus teorías acerca de l. a. cultura
nacional.

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For example, the white Ohioan abolitionist-suffragist Frances Matilde Gage saw in Sojourner Truth a physical reminder that women were not necessarily a weaker sex—that they did do equal work with men and thus were deserving of equal political rights. Gage’s fictionalized account of Sojourner Truth’s extemporaneous speech at a women’s rights convention Gage presided over in 1851 (published twelve years later in the New York Independent in 1863) emphasized how Truth was able to quiet a restive audience by her sheer physical presence: “every eye was fixed on this almost Amazon form, which stood nearly six feet high, head erect, and eye piercing the upper air like one in a dream.

1 Commentators at the time were impressed with the recent “progress” of woman, her increased visibility in public and political affairs, her entry into colleges and universities, and her commitment to social reform. Those in sympathy with the woman’s movement viewed these changes in woman’s status as the manifestation of evolutionary progress, a sign that the civilization of the United States was equal to the higher civilizations of Europe and far superior to the primitive cultures of Asia and Africa.

25 Influential texts for laying out foundational principles of evolution and social evolutionary theory were Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) and Descent of Man (1871), and Herbert Spencer’s The Principles of Biology (1864) and Social Statics (1865). 27 It was Spencer’s versions, even more than Darwin’s, that drew American interest, in part because Anglo-Saxon elites were interested in using evolutionist theories to forecast social development for the future. 28 As a theory that linked biology and culture, social evolutionary theories connected societal change with individual change, equated advanced civilizations with white racial superiority, and anchored both of these in sexual difference.

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