Race, Mythmaking, and the Crisis in Ethnology

Ter Ellingson

in The Myth of the Noble Savage

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780520222687
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925922 | DOI:
Race, Mythmaking, and the Crisis in Ethnology

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The Noble Savage disappears after Lescarbot and Dryden, and does not reemerge in Rousseau. This chapter suggests that there were no accusations of Rousseau's promotion of a belief in the Noble Savage, suggesting that neither the concept of savage nobility nor the myth of Rousseau's invention of it had yet emerged into general discourse. The myth of the Noble Savage is a highly specific construct, combining particular rhetorical and substantive components. The specific combination of these components must necessarily have come from somewhere, even if we have not yet identified its source. The chapter examines anthropology and nineteenth-century racism and ethnology between 1854–1858.

Keywords: Noble Savage; Rousseau; savage nobility; anthropology; racism; ethnology

Chapter.  5211 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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