LONG TERM DATA GATHERING - Click on photos to enlarge. When Bill Crocker first began to visit the Canela Indians in eastern Maranhćo state, Brazil in the late 1950s, he had to pack in using mules to carry all his equipment.
Children and mule with basket panniers, 1969.
At first he took notes in a type of shorthand called "Speedwriting." He tried various other methods of taking notes. In 1964, he brought in these engraving machines. They gouged out tracks in a plastic disc that could later be replayed and transcribed back at the Smithsonian.
Gray engraving machine, 1964.
Since then he has used various types of tape recorders, reel-to-reel, cassette and mini-cassette.
Dr. Crocker dictating into a mini-cassette tape recorder, 1991.
Photo by Jean Crocker
The Canela no longer rely on mules, either.
Canela in their Toyota pickup, 1999.
In addition to taking notes, the ethnologist experiences life in the tribe. In 1958 Bill joined in one of the Canela festivals.
Participation in a Pepkahąk ceremony, 1958.
Nearly every time he has returned to the tribe, currently 20 field seasons, he has been painted for a festival, and had his hair cut in the Canela fashion.
Painted in 1958.
Getting a Canela-style haircut, 1964.
1999 field season.
There are other ways to collect ethnographic information. In addition to his notes and photographs, Bill forms Canela groups to ponder questions. With much discussion, all annotated in English on tape, they come to a consensus, or not, about many different topics.
Discussion, 1993. Note the two microphones.
Photo by Carl Hansen
To keep Bill informed on events throughout the year, he had some Canela begin writing diaries and sending them to the Smithsonian. At first the diarists were limited to those who could write. Nowadays they use tape recorders.
Diarist, 1959. Clothing was not as common.
Raimundo Roberto and tape recorder, 1993.
One of Bills most reliable informants, diarist, and friend is Raimundo Roberto. They have worked together for more than 40 years.
Raimundo in 1959.
Raimundo and Bill in conference, 1991.
Photo by Jean Crocker
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