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This article appeared in Volume 9 (1) of The Semiotic Review of Books.

Things the Nose Knows

by Michael E Harkin

Aroma: The Cultural History of Smell by Constance Classen, David Howes, and Anthony Synnott. London and New York: Routledge, 1994. ISBN 0-415-11472-1 (hbk); 0-415-11473-x (pbk). 248 pp.

The Scented Ape: The Biology and Culture of Human Odour by D. Michael Stoddart. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-521-37511-8 (hbk); 0-521-399561-5 (pbk). 286 pp.

Smell constitutes a semiotic system, albeit an unusual one. The interpretation of specific smells is undoubtedly motivated in a way that language or visual semiotic systems are not. The smell of putrescence speaks of death and unhealthy food; the smells of bodily excretions warn people of health risks. Surely such olfactory signs have an evolutionary function. Nevertheless, we see significant cultural variation in the values attached to such things. Some people, such as members of the British aristocracy in the 19th century, liked putrescent meat, which was valued for its "gamy" quality. The widespread use of urine in cleaning clothes in the ancient world gave its odor a different valence than it has in modern culture. Moreover, the status of even seemingly obvious "offensive" odors is ambiguous. In The Scented Ape, Michael Stoddart examines the psychoanalytic literature on anal eroticism and its olfactory associations, with the conclusion that such smells may have "comforting" as well as alluring connotations, dating back to the period of early childhood, and imperfectly suppressed. Surprisingly, the undertones of many commercial perfumes are "fecal." Thus the cultural history of smell is not a simple story, but one in which the universal olfactory experiences of humanity: the smells of urine, feces, sweat, dirty clothing, rotting meat, and so forth, are conjoined with the smells specific to a culture and environment, such as frankincense or the heavy smell of the tropical forest after rainfall.

One of the main points of both books is that smell has been devalued and repressed. Stoddart sees this as an evolutionary movement, related to pair bonding and communal living. Alone of all primates, humans are both a communal, cooperative species, and one that tends to be monogamic. Monogamy seems to be correlated with high parental investment in nurturing the young. Males are only interested in contributing to the nurturance of their own offspring and not others, according to the socio-biological argument thatStoddart makes. Thus, one can expect a high degree of infanticide among promiscuous communities for the simple reason that males are unwilling to invest parental care in infants that are not genetically related to them. Odor is central in this argument. First, even human adults can detect their own offspring by smell, according to some experimental literature Stoddart cites. Second, the presence of phero-mones in human scent has been clearly linked to sexual arousal and to the onset of estrus in females. Humans, surprisingly, secrete more of this substance than any other primate. Clearly, this is related to the higher stakes involved in sexual competition among monogamic humans, especially males, who play an all-or-nothing game for propagating their genes. However, at the same time, it is not useful for humans to be able to detect such sexual cues from far away, since monogamous pair bonding selects against promiscuity. Humans, being gregarious and living in communal groups, cannot afford the disruption to the nuclear family that broadcasting sexual availability would engender. Sexual intercourse itself is hidden, and modesty is normative for females in all cultures. At the same time, the female is strongly motivated to preserve the pair bonding, and thus continued parental investment in her offspring by the male, and uses her sexual allure to prevent her mate from abandoning her.

The human sensorium has adapted to this situation in two ways: by desensitizing the nose, and by reclassifying pheromone-laden odors as unpleasant: an operation of the neocortex, which, I would argue (although Stoddart does not) is dependent upon learning and, thus, culture. Males are thus unlikely to perceive olfactory cues advertising estrus (although animals do, which fact explains the near-universal taboo on menstruating women accompanying men on the hunt). Moreover, the scents that are detected are no longer exciting, but "disgusting". A logical implication of this, which the author does not discuss, is the prevalence of bathing, which is normative among most tribal cultures. (Indeed, premodern European culture is the major exception to normative bathing.) Bathing has many of the same features that perfumery does, especially its connection to the sacred. Bathing, just as incense and perfume, makes humans more pleasing to the gods. Moreover, bathing itself is often incorporated in ritual, as a means of transforming the ritual subject, as seen in many Native Americancultures and primitive Christianity, for example.

The situation is more complex. Not all traces of our former interest in fetid odors has disappeared. Freud said they were "repressed" at the time of bipedalism, which in many ways sounds plausible. As humans began to walk upright, they removed themselves from the ground and the smells of that region, making a show of their distaste for it. In modern English, we still say that someone "turned up his nose" at something, thereby signifying his distaste for a shady deal or an inferior product. Another facial gesture, the "supercilious" raised eyebrow, the gesture of superiority, seems likely to be linked as well to odor, since it accompanies the detection of particularly acrid scents. Thus, the dominant modality of social interaction: the everyday, status-maintaining, rational sort, is characterized by a distancing from such smells. However, the repressed interest in them comes out in extraordinary moments: liminal and carnivalistic reversals, and sexual intercourse itself.

The cataloguing of themes of carnival undertaken by scholars such as Mikhail Bakhtin include a healthy dose of "aromatics." Of course, the word "carnival" itself advertises its interest in the flesh, and the functions thereof. It is redolent with smells: of burning meat, intestinal gas, axillary and even genital secretions (Bakhtin 1980; DaMatta 1991). The nose itself, which "smells" in both the transitive and intransitive senses, is the focus of carnivalistic performances in Native American cultures as diverse as the Kwakiutl and Cherokee, where characters with exaggerated proboscises act in a senseless manner. (Again, the connection between olfaction and irrationality).

Liminal structures in general presuppose a certain amount of celebration of fetid odors. Rites of passage at puberty, for males, often involve a celebration of body odors, either explicitly, through prescribed anal eroticism, as in parts of southern Papua New Guinea, or implicitly, through forced confinement and proscriptions on bathing (Herdt 1984; Knauft 1989). Even in our own culture single-sex groupings, such as sports teams and the military, have a little of this quality. Recalling my own experience playing on a high-school football team, it seems that fetid odors were a significant part of the experience and a constant theme of discourse. Clearly, such joking about bodily odors was a means of building group solidarity, since these odors signaled mature masculinity -- a fact not lost onadolescent boys.

The use of odor in humor is a topic that could easily make up a treatise. Indeed, the word "humor" itself is related to odor, since it refers to the four "humours," or internal bodily fluids, the balance of which was believed to give people distinctive personalities and organic essences (including odor). Humor is a means of dealing with contradictions or tensions in cultures and the human condition that are fraught with anxiety. It seems that the genres of humor dealing with odor (most, but not all of which is scatological) deals rather directly with the tension between the two modalities of social life: the static and status-maintaining, and the dynamic and processual. Bodily processes eliminate social distance in two ways. First, they stress the commonality of all humans ("we all gotta eat"). Second, they remind us of the temporary nature of the status distinctions we do make. As every fart is an intimation of the decay of death, the maintenance of social boundaries is seen as futile and artificial. Such themes were stressed especially in the late Middle Ages, for example, in grotesque funerary art. They persist in Carnival, scatological humor, and social movements based on liminality and communitas (as in the 1960s). Monty Python, the British comedy troupe with a strong and scholarly interest in the Middle Ages, developed such comic forms more than anyone. In one memorable sketch, Queen Victoria (played, I think, by Graham Chapman) attends a poetry reading inebriated from drinking sherry, and lacking control of her bowels and bladder. Several surreal elements were laid on (I remember a deathly fear of ants, and the whole thing being set in a modern department store), but in essence it was a performance straight out of Rio Carnaval. Queen Victoria, as the symbol of the highest-status person during the period in which England viewed itself as elevated above all other nations, being brought down by incontinence is funny because it speaks to the larger issue of odor betraying our pretense of elevation. Odor undermines all human projects along these lines, reminding us of our common mortality.

Against this complex background, in which intimate bodily odors are both despised and enjoyed, artificial scent became closely integrated with other cultural practices. Neanderthals made use of flowers, as evidenced in the famous burial site, Shanidar, in the Zagros Mountains of Iraq, over which flowers were evidently scattered. Dating back at least 45,000 years, this Neanderthal burial is famous for the apparent evidence it presents of a ritual attitude toward death. Additionally, we can surmise that it has something to do with aroma, and the connection between sweet scent and the idea of the gods, well documented after about 5,000 years before present.

It is no coincidence, according to Stoddart, that it is the sexual parts of plants, and indeed of animals, that go into the making of perfumes. Floral scents, which function to attract animals to aid in the propagation of the species, constitute the most noticeable scent in perfumes, the "top note." These are chemically close to animal pheromones. The "middle notes" are made from resinous substances which smell similar to human sex steroids, "while the base notes are mammalian sex attractants with a distinctly urinous or faecal odour" (p. 163). This is a sort of sliding scale of sublimation, with the more noticeable fragrances the most different from human odor, and the most pervasive and lasting, the closest. The function of perfume is thus obviously two-fold: to mask unpleasant human odors, to be sure, but also to accentuate the aphrodisiac features of human odors. Like a well-cut suit, to use Stoddart's metaphor, perfumes both hide and accentuate the body. Thus it is important for a wearer to chose a scent that emphasizes his or her own scent. Stoddart presents a chart of complexion types and their accompanying scents, compiled by a professional perfumist. Clearly related to the medieval theory of the four humours (although the author seems to miss this connection), this chart prescribes certain scents for certain "types" (e.g., lavender, blue lilac, and freesia for brunettes). In evolutionary terms, this has the function of heightening sexual interest by a partner who has imprinted upon this scent, without widely advertising sexual availability. Women, as the main "gatherers" in foraging societies, knew plants, and early on devised ways of masking estrus, while at the same time making themselves pleasing to their partners.

Much of this argument is plausible, and parts of it are convincing. However, it has something of the quality of a "just-so story" as well, projecting into the prehistoric past, and onto the supposedly "biological" level certain culturally specific practices and attitudes. For they are just that. Perfumery, while highly developed among Indo-Europeans, East Asians, and Malayo-Polynesians, is largely absent elsewhere. As Jack Goody (1993) pointed out in hismonumental work on flowers, sub-Saharan Africa is devoid of interest in them, either for their beauty or their scent. Similarly, most South American groups care little for flowers, despite their tropical abundance. In aboriginal North America, little use was made of perfumes, although incense of a sort was widely used. The burning of sweetgrass, tobacco, sage, cedar, and other botanical substances purified spaces and bodies, and pleased the gods, but cannot be connected to Stoddart's argument about scent and sexuality. Nor can this cultural diversity be connected to biological diversity, i.e., race. Caucasians and Africans have the largest axilla glands, but one group is interested in perfumes, while the other is not. East Asians and Native Americans are genetically related (although Stoddart does not present comparative odor data on these two groups), but present widely divergent attitudes regarding scent. This is not to say that the biological argument is pointless or uninteresting, but rather that it should not be made so deterministically. Rather, we should look at cultural evolution and history, rather than biological evolution, to explain this. Thus, if Shanidar shows that people (albeit Neanderthals, who undoubtedly knew, and probably intermarried with homo sapiens sapiens) in the Near East were using flowers ceremonially fifty or so millennia ago, it is not surprising that commercial perfumes developed after the rise of cities in this area, and in fact provided a major impetus for the development of trade routes among Arabia, Mesopotamia, India, and eventually the Mediterranean. Perfumery is destiny. That they did not so develop in sub-Saharan Africa or Meso-america, where there were similarly city-states and elaborate trading networks, is only explicable in cultural terms.

The authors of Aroma take such a cultural-historical view of the problem. If anything, the terms in which they frame the problem are too narrow and too much the product of their time and place. The "emplotment" of their narrative is only too familiar: they see a massive rupture between pre- and post-Enlightenment western culture. This romantic, politically-leftist point of view is both naïve and tiresome. There is an element of truth in their insight, but the authors overstate their case. The olfactory culture of Europe and North America changed between 1700 and 1850, but not so radically or irreversibly as the authors suggest.

Certainly, philosophers such as Locke and Descartes elevated sight above all the other senses, and relegated smell to the epistemological cellar. Smell was unreliable, subjective, and only imperfectly recordable. We have no language of smell, and must resort to metaphor to describe it. Thus olfactory data were beneath the notice of science. This development dovetailed with another significant social trend: the association of bad smells with the lower classes, who could not afford soap, perfume, or running water in which to bathe. This association goes back to antiquity; although strong smells permeated the ancient city, the aristocracy maintained in their private houses and, to the extent possible, their persons, perfumed spaces of rich and beautiful scents. By the 19th century, the upper classes no longer maintained private realms of scent, but began to differentiate themselves as odor-less. Regular bathing, fastidious housekeeping, indoor plumbing, new technologies for washing clothing, all were designed to remove odors from the living space and to leave, at most, telltale signs of "fresh" scent, such as light florals or lemon. Smell itself was expelled and repressed from the bourgeois household and sensibility.

As social science reflects these larger trends of modern society, it is ripe for a corrective plunge into the world of smell. That other cultures do much work with smells, to the point of arranging them in formal systems the authors call "osmologies," is clearly true. The main purpose of this book then seems to be to present as much data on smell from as many cultures as possible. This leads to mixed results. On the one hand, the authors successfully present "smell pictures" of several cultures, including ancient Rome, the medieval city, the modern United Arab Emirates, and the Desana of Colombia. As such a list hints, there is a Frazerian quality to all this; like the author of The Golden Bough, the authors are driven thematically, and are likely to cite up to a half-dozen cultures on a single page. This is a little disconcerting to the modern reader, and makes it difficult to keep the various cultures straight. This sort of wholesale cultural comparison has not been done for at least half a century, and it is more than Boasian prejudice that argues against such an approach. It is very difficult to know if the elements being compared, say, ideas about the smell of death, are truly comparable, or if they are given the same degree of emphasis in the different cultures.Historians will notice something similar in the historical chapters. The one on antiquity covers Homeric Greece and 2nd Century Rome, and a great deal in between. Thus, the authors point out that Socrates argued against the use of perfume, while the Romans of Juvenal celebrated it. The six intervening centuries and distinct cultures can explain this in a way the authors' rather casual interpretive framework cannot. We also hear reports from Syria, Palestine, Cleopatra's Egypt, and various other sites of the Hellenic, Hellenistic, and Roman worlds. All of this is fairly interesting, but it is framed in such a way that our knowledge of the scent-systems of these places is merely anecdotal.

Nevertheless, certain broad themes emerge from this discussion: the role of scent in marking identity and alterity, and reflecting the socioeconomic structure of society; ambivalence toward natural biological processes and their odors; and the association of smell with transition, transformation, and relations to the supernatural world.

Smells have always been used to mark the "differences that make a difference," to quote Gregory Bateson. In the ancient world, the distinction between city-dweller (that is, citizen) and rustic rural-dweller was marked by the latter's association with smells of the earth and farm animals. This distinction persists into the modern era, as works of fiction in the rural farce genre, such as Cold Comfort Farm, richly attest (Gibbons 1964). The smells of the farm are contrasted with those of the city, even though the latter may have "objectively" been worse, at least until the mid-19th century, when cities such as London and Paris were no longer covered with dung and offal, and the Thames and Seine were no longer open sewers. However, the upper-class urbanite used perfumes to counteract this distinctively urban fragrance, especially during pandemics. Obviously, the cities from Roman times onward were much less healthy places to live than the countryside, as crowding and inadequate sanitation allowed plagues to spread quickly, as they do today in many cities in the Third World, and the former Soviet empire. Disease was thought actually to be caused by unpleasant odors, and so the use of perfumes performed the functions of both medical and social quarantine. For indeed, despite the, usually humorous, portrayals of the olfactory distinctions between urbanitesand rustics, the more serious issue (and one rarely treated humorously) was the distinction between upper and lower class persons and their smells.

The lower classes, because of their odor and their despised social position, were essentially blamed for pestilence. The humoral theory of medicine taught that imbalances within the body, generally caused by external substances, mostly food and smell, were responsible for disease. This system, with roots in ancient times, was transmitted to the West through the writings of Galen, the 2nd century Roman physician, and was not fully replaced until the mid-19th century. It viewed bad smells as both symptoms and causes of illness. Even Victorians spoke of "miasmas," thick, pestilential odors that made one ill; windows remained closed in the houses of the bourgeoisie to prevent this. The point here is that, as Michel Foucault insists, official discourses such as medical science have the hidden function of exercising power over certain groups in society. In this case we can see how the poor were successfully blamed for their own misery, and were seen as the root cause of threats to the body and the body politic. This became especially evident in the Victorian era, when new ideas about germs resulted in the sanitization of the bourgeoisie. The poor, lacking plumbing or the means to launder clothing frequently, were excluded from these developments, and were despised for their odoriferousness, which signaled a disregard for modern ideas of hygiene. Odors, while no longer seen as being the direct cause of disease, were nevertheless potent, and to some degree accurate, markers of the presence of the preconditions for threats to public health. The segregation of the lower classes thus took on scientific and moral dimensions, in addition to aesthetic ones, despite the fact that this very segregation exacerbated health problems that existed among them.

On the other hand, reformers in the fields of medicine and public health, architecture, social work, and religion sought to transform the condition of the poor by de-odorizing them. They were instructed to bathe, keep house, and live in such a way as to dispel the miasmas that they formerly lived in. The olfactory "red line" was used increasingly, not for the lower classes in general, but for low status groups defined in terms of race, ethnicity, or religion. In the American South, blacks were widely said to smell more strongly thanwhites, regardless of wealth or bathing habits, well into the 1960s. In contemporary France, the smell of immigrant cooking was said, in a chilling quotation cited by the authors, by Jacques Chirac to be offensive to the noses of native French workers. Similarly Indian and Pakistani families in Britain and Canada are thought to produce odors both exotic and offensive.

It is not merely social class or ethnic groups that humans mark by smell, but also divisions between genders, among stages in the life cycle, and between human and non-human (including both animal and spiritual beings). One of the more elaborate systems reported by the authors is that of the Desana of the Colombian Amazon. For them, the social and natural world is mapped out by scent. The spoor of tribal members claims territory in the forest for a group, which has its distinctive smell. Individuals have distinctive smells as well, which are combined through social intercourse and marriage. The success of a pairing will depend largely upon the aesthetic consideration in the blending of smells. Other groups take these considerations to a cosmo-logical level. The Ongee of the Andaman Islands equate odor with life force. Living humans have odors, while spirits of the dead crave them; a spirit may take the odor of a person, causing him to be odorless, and thus a spirit himself. These spirits then recycle into the living by reincarnation, and the process begins again. The Ongee associate odor with breath, which is viewed in most cultures as the soul, a fact evident in our own culture in the etymology of "spirit" from the Latin spiritus, meaning breath. For this reason, it is not surprising that smell, whether it is emphasized to the degree the Ongee do or not, is an element in the relation between humans and the spirit world. Another dimension of this relation is the role of burnt offerings; many cultures, from Brahmanic to Kwakiutl, see smoke as a mediation between heaven and earth. The smell of cedar smoke, burnt meat, or incense is thought pleasing to spirits and deities. Indeed, outside of Protestant Christianity, very few religions do not make use of scent at important ritual moments. In the Middle Ages, as the authors point out, Christianity emphasized scent through the concept of the "odor of sanctity," which was the structural opposite of the odor of bodily processes. Thus, certain saints in Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy either did not decay at death, or emitted beautiful smells, reminiscent of roses. Two examples not adduced by the authors illustrate the persistence of such ideas into the modern age. In The Brothers Karamazov, a holy man dies, and it is expected that his body will not decay after death. Not only does it do so, it putrefies rapidly, emitting terrible odors, thus discomfitting his followers (Dostoyevsky 1996). In a Canadian case, the Native religious figure Rose of the Carrier, a candidate for Roman Catholic beatification, died in 1949. Two years later, her coffin was relocated. It was accidentally opened, and her body was mysteriously uncorrupted and inodorate (Fiske 1996).

While few religious systems attempt to deny the reality of physical death and its smells, many mask or transform those smells through the use of perfumes, such as camphor and sandalwood in modern Arab culture, or burnt offerings. The authors rather simplistically state that such acts are attempts to "make cultural order out of the disorder of death" (p. 154). This is of course true of most, if not all rites, at least from a Durkheimian perspective. What seems more compelling is the embracing of the idea of death as a change of status marked by smell. Smell becomes a final link between the deceased and the survivors, who take the aroma of the funereal rites into their own being (remember breath, both inhaling and exhaling, is a form of spiritual essence), as well as between the worlds of the living and of spirits. It also imprints a memory of the experience in a way that nothing else can. Who can remember words spoken in the distant past, and yet who can forget the smells that marked events even of earliest childhood, as Marcel Proust's famous madeleine attests?

I find the analyses of this rich and, shall we say, fragrant material to be generally weak and theoretically impoverished. Nor do the authors seem to get the facts entirely right, at least in their section on the role of scent in the contemporary world. They see modern Western culture as being at the end of a long process of de-odorization. A shift is occurring, however, in that synthetic scents, simulacra of organic smells, but both "better" and, more important, more geared to the demands of the marketplace, are coming to permeate our lives. An example of the Japanese workplace, in which various scents deemed to increase productivity (such as citrus after lunch to counteract postprandial sleepiness) is especially interesting. Perfumes, no longer associated with organic materials, are designed to do specific tasks, such as attract potential mates, or assertsocioeconomic status. The use of scent strips in magazines makes marketing and publishing at least partly olfactory enterprises, and gives certain artificial scents very wide social circulation. To some degree this is reasonable. However, it seems to represent a view from 1980. The book concludes with a brief section called "Smell: The Postmodern Sense?" in which the authors spectacularly miss the opportunity to discuss the role of scent in late capitalism. Most obviously, the whole concept of aromatherapy, marketed by large corporations such as The Body Shop, and smaller boutiques, taps into the idea of scent as connected with various states of ill- and well-being, in a way similar to what the authors describe for classical antiquity. Even more striking, to my mind, is the use of non-synthetic aroma as a postmodern marketing device in the exploding food and drink industry. Fresh-roasted gourmet coffee, as a prime example, is pervasive throughout North America and Western Europe. Large corporations such as Starbucks ship the coffee beans to local shops, where it is ground, thus producing an overwhelming and attractive aroma. This aromatic ambiance is augmented by the temporary storage of coffee beans in burlap sacks, such as they were once transported in. (Now, of course, they are transported in hermetically sealed plastic bags). All of this attempts to evoke a connection with a preindustrial past, before mass marketing and the standardization of product and aromas, which is both an ironic and highly effective marketing technique for a large corporation (Roseberry 1997). Similar strategies are pursued by bakery chains (several that specialize in bagels come to mind), franchised restaurants, and microbreweries and brew-pubs. The olfactory dimension of this phenomenon is striking. It is very surprising that this book, published three years ago, does not treat this interesting problem at all.

Despite its failings, the book does raise important questions about the relation among the human sensorium, the production of smells, and the cultural encoding of those smells into a semiotic system. It is not clear that the consideration of smell will lead us to significantly new interpretations of cultural phenomena -- a point which is neatly and perhaps inadvertently demonstrated by the authors of Aroma, who are able to deal with scent without significantly altering their social-anthropological theoretical perspective -- but the potential for such a new perspective is certainly illustrated by these two books. Read together, each emphasizes areas the other ignores, and allows the reader to form his or her own connections. Let us hope that further work will be done in this area. A holistic perspective that manages to deal competently and critically with both the biological and cultural dimensions of smell will significantly enrich and augment our understanding of the human experience.

In his chilling novel Perfume, Patrick Suskind (1986) has an anti-hero who is both scentless and equipped with a preternaturally acute olfactory sense. This extraordinary circumstance -- a decoupling of the transitive and intransitive senses of the verb -- places him an a position where he is socially nearly invisible to his fellows. He is a person who does not leave an impression; that is, he has no distinct social identity. Here, odor is a marker of class, gender, ethnicity, region, and the other constituents of social identity. This is, however, just as the character wants it. It allows him to escape detection as a murderer of young pubescent girls. It is their odor that attracts him, that gives him an overpowering desire to possess them. This provides the other half of the equation: body odor as a chemical attractant, operating on a subrational level. The character is called Grenouille (frog), which is, as Claude Levi-Strauss (1982:120-22) pointed out, an excellent symbol of ambiguity and transformation. In Northwest Coast cultures, frogs symbolized women's fertility, and were sometimes associated with the bathing that accompanied menses. Frogs do have a good sense of smell. But more than that, it seems that the sense of smell itself, a product of the reptilian brain, is, from the human perspective, an ambiguity: one capable of calling into question comfortable assumptions about human nature, culture, and the place of the individual in his or her society.


Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1980.Rabelais and His World. Helene Iswolsky, trans. Bloomington, IN: Midland Books.

DaMatta, Roberto. 1991.Carnivals, Rogues, and Heroes: An Interpretation of the Brazilian Dilemma. Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press.

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. 1996.The Brothers Karamazov, Constance Garnett, trans. New York: The Modern Library.

Fiske, Jo-Anne. 1996. "Pocahontas's Granddaughters: Spiritual Transition and Tradition of Carrier Women of British Columbia."Ethnohistory 43(4):663-682.

Gibbons, Stella. 1964.Cold Comfort Farm. New York: Dell.

Goody, Jack. 1993. The Culture of Flowers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Herdt, Gilbert H., ed. 1984. Ritualized Homosexuality in Melanesia. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Knauft, Bruce. 1989. "Bodily Images in Melanesia: Cultural Substances and Natural Metaphors." In Fragments for a History of the Human Body, Part Three, Michel Feher, Ramona Nadaff, and Nadia Tazi, eds. pp. 192-279. New York: Zone.

Levi-Strauss, Claude. 1982. The Way of the Masks. Sylvia Modelski, trans. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Roseberry, William. 1996. "The Rise of Yuppie Coffees and the Reimagination of Class in the United States." American Anthropologist 98(4):762-775.

Suskind, Patrick. 1986. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. John E. Woods, trans. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Michael Harkin is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He is the author of The Heiltsuks: Dialogues of Culture and History on the Northwest Coast (University of Nebraska Press, 1997) and Carnival and Authority: Heiltsuk Cultural Models of Power. Ethos 24:281-313, 1996.

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