Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research, Vol. 18, No.1, 2008. © 2008 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Science and scholarship are valuable academic endeavors because they offer a transcendent perspective on human doings. In other words, these modes of inquiry establish a kind of common ground that crosses cultural boundaries. If any common ground exists among varying culture-specific oral traditions, and if any shared truths exist between the study of oral traditions and archaeological inquiry, conscientious scholarship ought to look for them. Inconstant Companions offers no help to those scholars who want to know whether oral tradition and archaeology can conjointly shed light on ancient human history. Clearly, Mason wants us to accept his position that this ought to be a culture war issue, and real scholars will steadfastly vote no against Indian oral traditions.