Mary W. Helms

  • Emeritus Professor
  • Anthropology , UNCG

Dr. Mary Helms earned her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1967. She joined the UNCG department of Anthropology in 1979. She retired in 2004. Her research interests include the art and iconography of pre-Columbian Panama.

There are 13 included publications by Mary W. Helms :

TitleDateViewsBrief Description
Before the Dawn: Monks and the Night in Late Antiquity and Early Medieval Europe 2004 2814 Early European monks were preoccupied with the night. They were quintessential men of the dark, for nocturns, by far their longest liturgical office, was conducted each night, in the blackness of virtually unlit churches. In so doing monks not only r...
Black Carib Domestic Organization in Historical Perspective: Traditional Origins of Contemporary Patterns. 1981 1155 In a highly influential study of the domestic organization of the Black Carib of Livingston, Guatemala, Nancie Gonzalez (1969) identified two basic household types characteristic of that population: one form, comprising 54.7 per cent of her sample, c...
Color and Creativity: Interpretation of Themes and Design Styles on a Panamanian Conte Bowl 1996 1910 To "outsiders" from the Western industrial world, indigenous art constitutes one of the most fascinating and enticing avenues into the conceptual worlds of indigenous peoples. This is certainly true for pre Columbian societies of the Americas, wh...
The Indians of the Circum-Caribbean at the End of the Fifteenth Century. 1984 1719 At the end of the fifteenth century A.D. the lands surrounding the Caribbean Sea were densely populated with people who were frequently organized into rank societies or chiefdoms of varying degrees of complexity. Among these polities two major sph...
Joseph the Smith and the Salvational Transformation of Matter in Early Medieval Europe 2006 1115 In early medieval Western Europe, Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, was identified occupationally not only as a domestic woodworker but also as a blacksmith, the most mysterious, powerful, and sacrosanct category of supernaturally endowed skilled ...
Observations on Political Ideology in Complex Societies in the Tropics-and Elsewhere. 2008 714 A number of related themes are teased from the diverse essays composing this volume. The question of whether or not “the tropics” constitutes a unique setting for anthropological investigation is also briefly visited. The paper concludes with discuss...
Of Kings and Contexts: Ethnohistorical Interpretations of Miskito Political Structure and Function. 1986 1141 Recent articles dealing with the Miskito “kings” and Miskito “kingdom” of eastern Nicaragua are reassessed and their conclusions reconsidered. Using the same data, the existence of a Miskito “kingdom” is questioned and the nature of the “kingship” an...
Political Lords and Political Ideology in Southeastern Chiefdoms: Comments and Observations. 1992 928 This collection of papers highlights contexts in which ideology seems to have played a leading role in the political life of Southeastern societies. In this essay it is assumed that these polities operated within a general cosmological perspective ba...
The Purchase Society: Adaptation to Economic Frontiers. 1969 899 A sociocultural category, termed the Purchase Society, is proposed as a framework within which to analyze adaptations by simpler societies living on the economic frontiers of both agrarian and industrializing states. Unlike peasantry, purchase societ...
Sacred Landscapes and the Early Medieval European Cloister: Unity, Paradise, and the Cosmic Mountain 2002 5544 The architectural format of the early medieval monastery, a widespread feature of the Western European landscape, is examined from a cosmological perspective which argues that the garden, known as the garth, at the center of the cloister reconstructe...
The Society and Its Environment. In: El Salvador: A Country Study. 1990 1067 This volume is one in a continuing series of books prepared by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the Department of the Army. The last two pages of this book list the ...
Succession to High Office in Pre-Columbian Circum-Caribbean Chiefdoms. 1981 807 Comparison and analysis of rules for succession to high office in the pre-Columbian chiefdoms of the circum-Caribbean, as reported in the early sixteenth century, suggest preference for 'determinate' modes of succession. Determinate succession modes,...
Time, History, and the Future of Anthropology. 1978 685 Presidential address, 24th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Ethnohistory, Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 9, 1976.