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Joseph Berland’s study of South Asian nomads and entertainers is unique among cross-cultural studies of cognition. Berland, an anthropologist by training, has spent several years living among the people he describes for us. This familiarity already sets him apart from most psychologists, like myself, who have limited time to spend among the people they study. Even more remarkable is the appropriateness of the people chosen for this research. The Qalandar offer a special opportunity to overcome obstacles posed by alien test procedures, because their cultural traditions and world view encompass the very theory and methods that Berland wanted to use! In fact, as we quickly discover, the Qalandar sophistication in testing people and in being tested to determine intellectual competence is sufficient to tax the researcher’s ingenuity. Like the people who won his admiration in this research, Berland knows how to live by his wits. He judiciously mixes anthropological observation and psychological experimentation. He permits the setting to guide his choice of method and his knowledge of the overall cultural context to constrain his interpretation. His work will provide an important model for those of us who, like Tylor long ago, believe that the study of culture can shed light on the nature of human thinking.
*Michael Cole*

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