The collection documents George Eaton Simpson's fieldwork in Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Nigeria and consists of 704 unique images. The 1936 images of Haiti were primarily made at Milot, Fort Liberté, and Cap Haitien. The 1937 images were predominantly taken in Plaisance, Haiti; these include images of people, buildings, houses, street views, coumbites (communal work groups), a wedding ceremony and procession, markets, social gatherings with drumming and dancing, dancing demonstrations, and Vodun ceremonies. Images of Jamaica in 1953 and 1957 were made primarily in Kingston, Spanish Town, and Morant Bay; these depict people, buildings, houses, outdoor scenes, Revival Zion leaders and ceremonies, Jonkonnu (John Canoe) dancers, Rastafarian activists and leaders, and Kumina-related instruments. Images from Trinidad in 1960 primarily depict Maracas Bay, Tunapuna, and Port of Spain, and relate to the Shango Cult and the Spiritual Baptists (sometimes referred to as Shouters); included are religious participants, ceremonies, processions, baptisms, temples, and shrines and altars. The Nigerian images date to 1964, and largely depict subjects in Ibadan and Lalupon, including people, markets, a dance festival, temples, ceremonies, and shrines.
The photographs were primarily made by Simpson, but some were made in Jamaica by Frederic Ramsey, Jr. Many prints and slides are annotated by Simpson. The collection also includes a few reprints of articles based on Simpson's field work and words and musical transcription from Savalou Ricourt, a musician of Port au Prince in 1937.
George Eaton Simpson (1904-1998) was an anthropologist who researched the various social aspects of Caribbean religions. Simpson received his BS from Coe College (1926), his MA from the University of Missouri (1927), and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania (1934). He taught in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Oberlin College from 1947-1971. Simpson conducted fieldwork in numerous locales, including Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Nigeria, focusing primarily on Caribbean religions such as Vodun in Haiti, Rastafarianism in Jamaica, and the Spiritual Baptists in Trinidad. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including "The Vodun Service in Northern Haiti," "The Shango Cult in Nigeria and Trinidad," and Black Religions in the New World.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 93-14
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Simpson's film footage of Plaisance, Haiti, held in Human Studies Film Archives HSFA 92.12.1.
Additional photographs from Simpson held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 2001-24.
Oberlin College Archives holds the George E. Simpson Papers, 1940-1985.
Sound recordings by Simpson held in the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections in the Folkways Records Collection and the Moses and Frances Asch Collection.
National Museum of the American Indian, Office of Community Services Search this
33 cu. ft. (33 record storage boxes)
This accession consists of exhibition fieldwork records and production recordings produced by the Office of Community Services for the National Museum of the American
Indian (NMAI) inaugural exhibitions "Our Lives: Contemporary Life and Identities" and "Our Peoples: Giving Voice to Our Histories." Native American communities represented
include the Iglulik (Igloolik) Eskimos, Metis, Kahnawake, Island Carib Indians, Pamunkey Indians, Kamia Indians, Mataco Indians, Yakama Indians, Cherokee Indians, Kiowa Indians,
Tapirape Indians, Urubu Kaapor Indians, Seminole Indians, Nahuas, Tohono O'odham Indians, Huichol Indians, Choctaw Indians, Siksika Indians, and Chiricahua Indians. Materials
include field notes, interview transcripts, meeting agendas, signed release forms, and audio and visual recordings in a variety of formats. Some materials are in electronic
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2020; Transferring office; 02/08/2011 memorandum, Toda to Pahn; Contact reference staff for details.