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Department of Anthropology

Giant Buddha statues of Bamayan

Giant Buddha statues of Bamayan are featured in the Linker family film Adventures in Afghanistan.

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Francisco Aguirre and Halla Linker-Aguirre

Francisco Aguirre and Halla Linker-Aguirre at Point 360/ Woodholly post-production facility in North Hollywood, California, where the Linker Family's broadcast master videotapes were stored.


Man at New  Guinea Sing-Sing

Papuan man after aesthetic preparations for a sing sing, New Guinea highlands near Banz, Goroka District, 1963. Photograph by Stevey Bruce.

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Typhoon season in Manila, Philippines, ca. 1930. Photograph by Whipple Spear Hall.


Scene from Western China

Scene from Western China. Photograph by Whipple Spear Hall.


Korean shaman dancing

Shaman dancing in Eugene Knez Footage of Korea, ca. 1938-1941 (silent).

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Scene from Sitting Bull's autobiography

Scene from Sitting Bull's pictographic autobiography (Ms. 1929B, Inv. 08591500)

Sketch of Grand Canyon

"View of Grand Canyon of the Colorado River from Ft. of To-Ro-Weap Valley, Sketched November 1872." Frederick S. Dellenbaugh. Graphite drawing. (Ms. 2030, Inv. 08630800)






Aloha Baker with Bororo men

Intrepid traveler Aloha Baker (right) appears in Last of the Bororos, filmed in part in the village of Bobore on the Paraguay River, west of Cuiaba.

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James Glenn in 1985

James Glenn (1933-2002)

The archives staff notes with sadness the death of James Glenn, former senior archivist, who passed away on October 13th. More..

New: Linker Family Travelogue Collection

The Human Studies Film Archives recently acquired its largest travelogue collection, including more than a half million feet of original 16mm motion picture film and 150 edited travelogues. The Linker collection represents a style of popular travelogue that incorporates record footage of documentary value to current day researchers. It augments the broader HSFA collections, which chart the continuum between popular forms of travelogue and research-based ethnographic films.

The collection, which includes such films as Four Faces of Siva, Pearl Divers of Japan and Adventures in Afghanistan, was produced by independent filmmakers Hal Linker, Halla Linker-Aguirre, and their son, David Linker, whose family filmmaking unit produced the films from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Like most of the independent travelogue filmmakers in the HSFA collection, the Linker family worked in 16mm color motion picture film. However, unlike earlier travelogue-lecturers who toured with and distributed their own films, the Linker family took travelogue filmmaking into the television age with broadcast series such as “Three Passports to Adventure” and “The Wild, the Weird and the Wonderful,” which were syndicated in 45 American television markets.

The extensive acquisition was donated by Halla Linker-Aguirre and David Linker and made possible through the efforts of Susan Parker of California State University, Northridge. CSU was the custodian of the films following the death of Hal Linker in 1979. Mark White of the film archives flew to Los Angeles to coordinate the packing and shipment of the collection to the Smithsonian.

New: James S. and Stevey Bruce Film Collection

The Human Studies Film Archives has acquired an important collection of 16mm motion picture film and photographic slides produced by Nomad Productions, an independent documentary film company formed by Mrs. Stevey Bruce, the collection's donor, and her late husband James (“Stu” ) Bruce. Stu Bruce had a particular interest in Melanesia and New Guinea, where he had conducted research into the “cargo cult” religious practices of the region.

The Bruce Collection consists of over 80,000 feet of original outtake, master and print materials, as well as photographic slides from film projects documenting the cultures and landscapes of such diverse geographical regions as Ethiopia, Nepal, Oceania and Greenland. A research copy of one of Bruce’s edited films, The Gourdmen of New Guinea, was acquired by the National Anthropological Film Center (the predecessor to the HSFA) in the 1970s.

New: Whipple H. Manning photographic collection

The HSFA recently received a delightful surprise in the mail: more than 150 snapshots of the Philippines, Japan, China, Oceania and southeast Asia taken by businessman Whipple Spear Hall between 1910 and the early 1930s. Hall ran a paper importing business in the Philippines. Most of the snapshots, which were discovered in boxes of old family photographs, are black and white, with a few that are beautifully hand painted views of Japan. The exceptional quality of the hand painting as well as the Japanese subject matter leads NAA's photo archivist Paula Fleming to believe that these were probably hand painted in Japan. These are a wonderful accompaniment to the moving images.

In 1999, 16mm motion picture footage taken by Mr. Hall in the Philippines was donated to the HSFA through the National Center for Film and Video Preservation at the American Film Institute by Mr. Hall's grandson, Mr. Whipple H. Manning. Read more...

Newly Accessible Film and Video Collections

Three 16mm films from the Papers of Eugene Knez, curator emeritus in the Department of Anthropology, have recently been transferred to video. Eugene Knez Footage of Korea, ca. 1938 – 1941 includes shots of a religious ceremony performed at an outdoor site along the coast, as well as U.S. military personnel aboard a ship on route to Korea. Wayang Kulit: Malaysian Puppets, ca. 1967 (from an incomplete color film print) depicts the performance of a shadow puppet drama in Malaysia as well as puppet making, and was possibly acquired by Knez for use in an exhibition in the National Museum of Natural History. Rural Life in Pakistan, a short edited documentary, presents scenes from the Punjab to the Kyber Pass, and includes diverse images of the social customs and lives of Pakistani people.

Also newly accessible is Marrapodi Films, an edited video produced by Bennetta Jules-Rosette (UC San Diego) which illustrates how cultural differences affect representations in visual media. The film, which was shot on Super 8mm film in 1974, explores how the differing cultural backgrounds of American students and Zambian "community informants" affected the styles in which they filmed public events in the town of Marrapodi, Zambia, a center for government urban development programs and local Christian missionary activities by the Maranke African Apostolic Church.

Archives Preserves 1,000 Works of Art

The staff of the Artwork Preservation Project recently finished treatment of more than 1,000 leaves of artwork, supported by funding from Save America's Treasures and the Getty Grant Program. Our outstanding artwork collection covers almost two centuries of collecting from across the globe, providing rare insight on artists’ works as cultural representations of both themselves and others. Sitting Bull's vivid pictorial autobiography not only depicts significant events in his life — it also reveals his feelings about his horse! Look at the attention that he lavished on the horse's whiskers and coat compared to the rather generic enemy.

The beauty of the works of art in the NAA is much more than skin deep. The products of specific times and places, they are artifacts with complicated histories. And the stories behind the objects can make all the difference. One of our manuscripts, for example, includes lovely sketches of the Grand Canyon. But these little landscapes are even more marvelous when you realize that they survived the rapids during John Wesley Powell's second excursion down the Colorado River.

The Artwork Preservation Project was developed to ensure that these fragile pictorial records of our nation's history will endure for future generations to study and admire. Our conservators cleaned Eskimo sketches of caribou and mended tattered Sioux drawings of horses. They painstakingly removed acidic mat board from watercolors of Samoa and created new mountings for delicate cut-paper silhouettes of an 1805 Indian delegation to Washington. These efforts reflected a constant dialogue between conservators and curators, working together to ensure that treatment was sensitive to each object's unique history. The cultural integrity of each piece was as important as its physical integrity. Read More...

HSFA Films Screened at “Regards Comparés” Ethnographic Film Festival

"Brazil: Religious Identity From Candomble to Pentecostalism” was the theme of this year's festival, organized by the Comité du Film Ethnographique at the Musée de l’Homme (Paris, Oct. 16-19), which featured film screenings and discussions with filmmakers and scholars.

The HSFA films presented at the festival were Last of the Bororos (1931) an early travel-adventure film of an expedition to the Mato Grosso, and Tambor de Mina (1981) an edited piece from 50 hours of video documenting Afro-Brazilian trance-possession rituals in Northern Brazil taken by anthropologist Daniel Halperin.

Staff News

In October, Pamela Wintle, the Association of Moving Image Archivists' alternate representative, attended the bi-annual meeting of the National Film Preservation Board at the Library of Congress.
The Association of Moving Image Archivists will hold their annual conference in Boston (November 19-23). This year's conference stream will be digital issues facing moving image archivists. Pamela Wintle will be participating in a session on film laboratory services for archivists, as well as screening a recently preserved amateur film by John V. Hanson, "Chartes Cathedral."
Thanks to former staff member Gayle Yiotis and generous funding from the Repatriation Review Committee, a new Research Guide to the Native American Collections in the National Anthropological Archives and Human Studies Film Archives is now available.

More News ...


Publication date: November 2002

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