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Catalog Data

Herskovits, Melville J (Melville Jean) 1895-1963  Search this
Herskovits, Frances S (Frances Shapiro) 1897-  Search this
Physical description:
1,400 feet (52 minutes) silent b&w film/video
Haitians  Search this
Motion pictures (visual works)
Collection descriptions
Pictures of saints (233-240 roll 3)
Mirebalais, Haiti
Supplementary materials: 1
title supplied by Archives staff (unpublished work)--archival collection
Preservation supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Film Preservation Foundation
Cataloging supported by Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee
Footage shot during a three-month field study in the valley and village of Mirebalais, central Haiti. Documentation of Haitian culture includes various subsistence and craft activities (hoeing, planting, marketing, and rope making); a combite or communal work group (known elsewhere in Haiti as the Société Congo) clearing a field; the heading, "dressing," and consecration of an ensemble of <rada> drums by a <pret savanne> (bush priest); sequences from a Vodun ceremony including a rada altar with chromolithographs and the <action de grace> (preliminary segment) of the ritual; and short sequences of social dance styles, including a banda, Congo, and Martinique, performed for the camera.
Herskovits, Melville Jean 1937 LIFE IN A HAITIAN VALLEY.New York: Alfred A. Knopf
Repository Loc.:
Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, MD
Language and culture  Search this
Marketing--market women--transportation of produce to market (38-107, 127-200 roll 1)  Search this
Marketing--mode of produce transportation--donkey--baskets, loads on head (38-200 roll 1)  Search this
Markets--peasants--market women selling--makeshift enclosures (227-330 roll 1)  Search this
Dwellings--field shelters--thatch--wattle and daub (1-33 roll 2)  Search this
Agriculture--tillage--men hoeing fields--women planting seed(40-121 roll 2)  Search this
Agriculture--tillage--use of hoe on tropical soils--African retention  Search this
Cooking--yard context--fire hearths--utensils--woman tending pots (122-144 roll 2)  Search this
Agriculture--tillage--communal labor for clearing field--"combite" (149-243 roll 2)  Search this
Drumming--tillage, rhythmic accompaniment to--"combite" (157-243 roll 2)  Search this
Music--palliative to work--"combite" (157-243 roll 2)  Search this
Cordage--braiding fiber cordage--lashings for drumheads (301-385 roll 2)  Search this
Musical instruments--drummaking--three-part vodum drum ensemble(1-72 roll 3)  Search this
Ritual--libations--drums--baptising the vodun drums (64-80, 185-199 roll 3)  Search this
Ritual--religious practices--drawing "veve" around tree (201-225 roll 3)  Search this
Ritual--religious practices--vodun altar--candles  Search this
Ritual--religious practices--vodun altar--flagwaving--dancing--prostration--houngan twirling woman (241-301 roll 3)  Search this
Dancing--demonstration--man illustrating dance steps--kinesics (1-80 roll 4)  Search this
Communication--gestures--two men talking (81-121 roll 4)  Search this
Games--gambling--men playing "wari" streetside--African retentions (122-201 roll 4)  Search this
Music--drumming--vodun  Search this
Musical instruments--snare and drum (211-216 roll 4)  Search this
Musical instruments--hoe blade and metal snare--accompaniment to drums (249-52 roll 4)  Search this
Communication--gestures--kinesics--two elite males (283-322 roll 4)  Search this
Local number:
HSFA 1977.1.2
Restrictions & Rights:
Information on reproduction and fees available from Human Studies Film Archives FC:0
Data Source:
Human Studies Film Archives