This chapter discusses fieldwork—its history, theory, and practice. Exploring fieldwork methodology reveals important contradictions and moral dilemmas anthropologists face in the field, interacting with informants. By employing the comparative method this chapter analyzes two weddings in different communities, different times, and drawing on different sources. This reveals similarities and differences as well as the multiple forms of data from which anthropologists can draw conclusions about culture and ritual.
· Learning Objective 1: Understand the complexities and dynamics of fieldwork.
· Learning Objective 2: Understand the multiple dilemmas fieldworkers face with informants and data gathering.
· Learning Objective 3: Understand the complexities of a Kwakiutl marriage, based on ethnographic data collected by Franz Boas and his key informant George Hunt in the late nineteenth century.
· Learning Objective 4: Understand the intricacies of an American "white wedding," based on widely-available media descriptions.
· Learning Objective 5: Draw conclusions on the similarities and differences of these two wedding ceremonies and experience making conclusions about the respective cultures from diverse forms of data.