Canela (Eastern Timbira), I: An Ethnographic Introduction.
By William H.Crocker
Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology,
Number 33, 487 pages, 11 tables, 51 figures, 78 plates, 1990.
<<back table of contents next>>
<<return to literature
AcknowledgmentsGiving credit where credit is due is always difficult because often there are so many people involved that an author does not know where to start. Since these acknowledgments pertain not only to this introductory monograph but cover a number of volumes―really my life’s work―it seems best and most appropriate to start at the beginning of my anthropological training.
George and Louise Spindler of Stanford University originally inspired me when I first entered the discipline. The psychological orientation found behind Spin’s lectures was a contribution to my formative training at the master’s level that stands far larger than any other person’s input. On the doctoral level, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Milton Barnett continued the psychological orientation. These men account for the psychological focus of my earlier fieldwork and its principal study of socialization, and also for the similar focus of my later fieldwork in its special semantic study of key words and concepts.
Nobody at the University of Wisconsin in 1956 could orient me for fieldwork in Brazil, so David Baerreis, an archeologist, sent me to Charles Wagley who was at Columbia University at that time. Since then Chuck Wagley has been my chief mentor to the present day, with only the late Clifford Evans and Betty Meggers of the Smithsonian Institution assuming roles that could begin to compare with Chuck’s.
In Brazil, Eduardo and Clara Galvão helped me immensely, both personally and professionally. My work was carried out under Eduardo Galvão’s auspices at the Museu Goeldi in Belém (and the University of Brasília in 1964) until his death in 1976. I reported to him before and after each trip and remember his commendations and criticisms with great appreciation. On the first trip in 1957, Galvão gave me a letter to Professor Darcy Ribeiro in Rio de Janeiro. He and Heloisa Alberto Torres obtained the very necessary permissions from the Brazilian Indian Protection Service (Servico de Proteção aos Índios).
While waiting for my permissions to be processed in Rio de Janeiro, I spent many long hours and days in the Conselho Nacional de Proteção aos Índios office of Dona Heloisa studying Nimuendajú’s manuscript of “The Eastern Timbira” in Portuguese. Learning to know her better is one of my most treasured Brazilian experiences. Courses given by Darcy Ribeiro and Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira at the Centro de Pesquisas Educacionais at the foot of the Rua das Voluntárias da Pátria in Bota Fogo were an inspiration. There, it was a great pleasure to meet and know a number of the Brazilian students in anthropology and sociology.
In São Paulo, Professor Egon Schaden encouraged me, and Harald Schultz oriented me to the Canela. While staying with him and his wife, Vilma Chiara, for two days, we went on buying trips for the Canela in the local stores.
During the 1960s, Dona Heloisa continued her role of obtaining difficult Indian Protection Service permissions, especially in 1963 during the Canela messianic movement. Schaden also continued to provide his theoretical inspiration along with his warm friendship. Professor David Maybury-Lewis invited me to the series of pan-Gê seminars held at Harvard University in the winter and spring of 1966 where new informative contacts were made with his students, especially Christopher Crocker, Roberto Da Matta, Júlio Cesar Melatti, and Dolores Newton. Through these visits, a very significant shift toward kinship and other relationship systems was brought to my field studies. I am deeply grateful to the Harvard-Brazil group for their training and stimulation. The division of my fieldwork orientation into the earlier (pre-1967) and the later (post-1968) phases is due to our contact and exchanges in 1966.
In 1971, Egon Schaden honored me with an invitation to the Primeiro Encontro de Estudos Brasileiros in São Paulo to give a principal paper, but for the rest of the decade there was only limited contact with Brazilian colleagues. The critical backing and encouragement, in contrast, came from archeologists Clifford Evans and Betty Meggers at the Smithsonian. In fact, the 1979 fieldwork, during which the most important and satisfying research was carried out, could not have been undertaken, and especially not completed, without their crucial support.
Thus, in summary, the most profound thanks and acknowledgments must go to George D. Spindler, Eduardo Galvão, Heloisa Alberto Torres, and Clifford Evans and Betty Meggers; but the deepest professional and personal gratitude goes to Charles Wagley who made the fieldwork possible in the first place, and whose strong support, close friendship, and sound advice continue to this day. (Other acknowledgments are in Appendix 1.)
A very special kind of recognition goes to a number of individuals in the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL: Wycliffe Bible Translators) in Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, and Belém, as well as in the Canela village of Escalvado from 1969 through 1975. They helped me linguistically (Sarah Gudshinsky, 1960 and 1966), let me talk short wave with my wife in Washington, D.C. (Robert Wright, 1975), gave me a series of cortisone injections (Dr. Carl Harrison), and typed a 40-page report for me (Mary Jean Hostetler). They were great morale raisers (the whole Belém base, October 1979). In 1969, 1970 (Paul Marsteller), 1971, and 1975, SIL pilots ferried my wife and me, and twice her children, between Belém and the Canela village of Escalvado. Moreover, they provided innumerable services and kindnesses: especially two retreats on the Belém base, while working on a research paper (January, 1975) and while writing a CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas) report (October, 1979).
Jack Popjes (Figure 11) and his wife Josephine (both SIL) arranged for making and sending all the Canela informant materials, which constitute the very considerable body of data on the Canela during the 1980s. This information is on paper, tape cassette, and video cartridge. Jack and Jo added their observations and opinions by letter, tape cassette, and telephone (from Brazil and Canada). Thus, the epilogue, and any post-1979 information in this monograph, represents collaborative SIL-SI research between 1984 and mid-1989, which they have graciously allowed me to present here as well as a quotation from their newsletter, The Canela (Popjes and Popjes, 1986:2).
Moreover, Jack and Jo have been great friends, whether attempting to cure a Canela together, debating issues while driving between Brazilian cities, or spending the evening in their Belém-base home, and I sincerely hope this relationship does continue.
Acknowledgments to individuals in the field situation (more specifically in the state of Maranhão and the Município of Barra do Corda) are extensive, and my appreciation is deep and my memories warm. Since I was there for long periods of time over 22 years, I formed numerous friendships, not all of which can be mentioned, but the foremost ones are described at the end of Part l [I.H].
Financial acknowledgments go principally to the Smithsonian Institution for the various years of field and office support, but in 1964 full support for fieldwork was received from the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. These two foundations made possible the study of the 1963 Canela messianic movement as well as the analysis of the forced relocation of the Canela from a closed savanna (cerrado) to a dry forest environment. Support in the late 1950s came from the University of Wisconsin and from the Smith, Kline and French Pharmaceutical Company.
The field research was carried out under the auspices of the University of Wisconsin (1957–1960) and the Smithsonian Institution (1963–1979). This field research (1957–1979) was also carried out under the control of the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (Belém) for Brazil (O Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, 1986). Dr. Eduardo Galvão of the Goeldi advised me, except for during 1978–1979 when Sr. Expedito Arnaud was responsible. I am most grateful for Expedito’s loyal support in October 1979.
For the ten field trips, permissions were received from some part of either the Serviço de Proteção aos Índios or, after 1968, the Fundação Nacional do Índio. For most of the trips, permissions were also obtained from the earlier Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas or the later Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico. I have been deeply grateful to the government of Brazil for these authorizations and have immensely enjoyed and greatly benefitted from the privilege of working in Brazil―by feeling, my second country.
In Washington, D.C., I want to thank the late Constance Walker Monroe and Virginia WaIler for personal editorial assistance. Linda Maradol entered thousands of corrections onto the diskettes. Gail Solomon, research assistant, carried out countless hours of help on many aspects of the book―responsibly, tirelessly, imaginatively, and devotedly. She worked out the details of the bibliography and almost alone chose the photographs. Later she helped to mount the photographs for the press with the very skilled illustrator G. Robert Lewis, who is retired from the National Museum of Natural History. She also coordinated the preparation of the photographs with the help of the NMNH’s talented photographic specialist, Victor Krantz. Marcia Bakry, a Department of Anthropology illustrator, did the painstaking drawing of Figures and Maps. I am deeply appreciative for all this professional, but often personalized, assistance in developing the monograph into its final state.To Jean Thomas, the monograph’s final personal editor and at the time my fiancée, I owe the great debt of having made the book more readable. During the summer and fall of 1987, she untangled my convoluted writing style, making it more understandable. We got married, nevertheless, in December. Joan Horn of the Smithsonian Institution Press carried out a careful and thoughtful study of the manuscript, as its editor. Her thousands of recommendations have sharpened the style and the thinking significantly. Upon Joan’s retirement, Barbara Spann and Don Fisher, both of SIP, completed the editing and typesetting necessary to produce galleys and page proof. I am grateful for their contribution, particularly Barbara’s understanding and numerous constructive decisions.
Ray Roberts-Brown took the photographs on Plates 3b, 5a, and 10d while in the field with me in June 1970.
Drs. Anthony Seeger (then of Indiana University, now of Smithsonian Institution), Kenneth Kensinger (Bennington College), and Robert M. Laughlin (Smithsonian Institution) were the official readers, and many thanks go to them for the perspectives they brought to the manuscript in May 1987, which resulted in several major organizational changes. Their critiques were more than just helpful; they were essential. In the final stages, Betty Meggers, the unofficial reader, provided critical professional advice about what to include and how to present certain issues for which I am deeply grateful. Contacts at the Lowland South American Indian Conferences of 1987 and 1988 at Bennington, Vermont, organized by Kenneth Kensinger, were especially helpful in enabling me to arrive at theoretical orientations, and Ken himself is one of the individuals to whom I am most grateful in this respect. Priscilla Rachun Linn, associated with several Smithsonian exhibits in Washington, is the other individual. She and Ken worked over every section of Part V with me.
The Brazilian anthropologist Carlos Alberto Ricardo, General Coordinator of Povos Indígenas no Brasil of the Centro Ecumênico de Documentação e Informação (CEDI) of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, provided the data necessary to draw the Canela and Apanyekra reservations on Map 3. Delvair and Júlio Melatti also provided important information.
Special recognition must go to Nimuendajú for one precise point. All of the botanical and zoological identifications in Latin in this monograph come from his monograph, “The Eastern Timbira” (1946), and especially the republication of its second chapter (Nimuendajú, 1974). I carried out no such identifications, so all credits of this sort must go to him.
Appreciation goes to the Banco do Nordeste do Brasil, Fortaleza, Ceará, and its branch bank in Barra do Corda, for permission to republish four photographs of the beautification of Barra do Corda from its booklet Barra do Corda (Banco do Nordeste do Brasil SA, 1985).
To Curt Nimuendajú―the great Brazilian generalist in anthropology of the first half of the 20th century―go my ultimate thanks for help received in the late 1950s. Without his extensive, published materials to learn from (1913, 1937, 1938, 1946), my accumulation of data in the early period of field research would have been far more difficult and would have proceeded much more slowly. Moreover, one of my principal objectives could not have been realized: a restudy of “The Eastern Timbira” and a basis from which to study change and continuity.
[2002: ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: For those who have not been involved in scanning a large number of pages into a computer, let me assure you that after the professional job of scanning has been completed and returned to you, the work has just begun. The process of scanning introduces countless errors and the transference of the text from one format to another introduces new errors. Volunteer, Elizabeth Vance, and Silverweb, Ltd. did a fine job of scanning—we thank them for this—but then the proofreading team worked part time through 2000, 2001, and part of 2002 before completing the cleaning up of the two books, five articles, and one review. The proofing team consisted of the volunteers Gail Solomon and Georgia Reilly, backed up by Barbara Watanabe my research assistant and sometimes her husband Don Hurlbert for technical matters and especially for the photography. Michael Barnes rescanned all the Figures and photos. I played the final catcher of errors, poring through all the materials, though Georgia still found additional errors.]
<<back table of contents next>>
[top of page]