Magnifying Glass


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 with Mule
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.
Engraving Machine
Gray engraving machine, 1964. 
Since then he has used various types of tape recorders, reel-to-reel, cassette and mini-cassette.
Dr. Crocker and Cassette Recorder
Dr. Crocker dictating into a mini-cassette tape recorder, 1991. 
Photo by Jean Crocker
The Canela no longer rely on mules, either.
Men in Truck
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.
Ceremony Participation
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 Body
Painted in 1958.
Getting a Canela-style haircut, 1964.
Village Scene
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
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. Diary Writing
Diarist, 1959. Clothing was not as common.
Tape Recording
Raimundo Roberto and tape recorder, 1993.

One of Bill’s most reliable informants, diarist, and friend is Raimundo Roberto. They have worked together for more than 40 years.




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Raimundo Roberto
Raimundo in 1959.
Raimundo and Crocker
Raimundo and Bill in conference, 1991. 
Photo by Jean Crocker


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