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Catalog Data

Creator:
Maher, Robert F. (Robert Francis), 1922-1987  Search this
Extent:
7 sound recordings
6.38 Linear feet (13 boxes)
Culture:
Purari (Papua New Guinea people)  Search this
Namau  Search this
Ifugao (Philippine people)  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Photographs
Manuscripts
Maps
Field notes
Genealogical tables
Correspondence
Place:
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Date:
1944-1987
bulk 1954-1987
Summary:
Robert Francis Maher (1922-1987) was an anthropologist with the University of Western Michigan whose work focused on Oceania. The collection documents his field research in Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. His field research in Papua New Guinea focused on cultural change in the Purari Delta and the modernist Tommy Kabu Movement (1946-1968). His field research in the Philippines focused on the ethnological and archaelogical history and changes in the Ifugao province. The collection consists of field notes, excavation notes, census data, genealogy charts, grant applications, research files, research proposals, maps, correspondence, manuscripts, sound recordings, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Robert F. Maher document his field research in Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. His field research in Papua New Guinea focused on cultural change in the Purari Delta and the modernist Tommy Kabu Movement (1946-1968). His field research in the Philippines focused on the ethnological and archaelogical history and changes in the Ifugao province. The collection consists of field notes, excavation notes, census data, genealogy charts, grant applications, research files, research proposals, maps, correspondence, manuscripts, sound recordings, and photographs. The Papua New Guinea research files primarily consist of Maher's fieldwork diary from 1954-1955. Included with the diary is an annotated partial typescript transcription. Other material includes excavation notes and dwelling information. There is also census material from Tommy Kabu about a work area known as Rabia Camp. The diary describes Maher's time with Tommy Kabu at Rabia Camp and Port Moresby, as well as his time in the Purari Delta. The Philippines research files include field notes, excavation notes, census data, genealogy charts, and research files. The field notes contain detailed reports on pottery, tools, and agricultural and social aspects of the Ifugao province. The census data chiefly contains undated questionnaires filled out by residents of different Ifugao villages. The research files contain reports along with correspondence. Some of the fieldwork reports, along with census data and genealogy charts, were probably authored by two of Maher's research assistants, Emilio Pagada and Ben Pitpitunge. The bulk of the correspondence is professional in nature, and primarily concern his work in the Philippines. Included is correspondence with anthropologists Harold C. Conklin, William A. Longacre, Daniel J. Scheans, Richard Shutler, and Wilheim G. Solheim. Also included are letters from Tommy Kabu. The sound recordings contain 5 magnetic tape reels (3 in.) likely recorded in the Ifugao Provice of the Philippines. The photographs and slides are unprocessed.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in 6 series: Series 1: Research, 1944, 1954-1985 Series 2: Correspondence, 1953-1987 Series 3: Writings, 1961-1983 Series 4: Writings by Others, circa 1950s - circa 1980s Series 5: Sound Recordings, undated Series 6: Photographs
Biographical Note:
Robert F. Maher was born in Eldora, Iowa in 1922. He studied anthropology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and received his B.S. in 1948, his M.A. in 1950, and his Ph.D. in 1958. He was an instructor at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee in 1953-1954, and at DePauw University in 1956-1957. He joined the Department of Sociology at Western Michigan University in 1957 and became professor of anthropology there in 1966. In 1967, he became the first chairman of the UWM department of Anthropology. He remained at UWM until he died. Most of Maher's publications concern his work in Oceania. In 1954-1955, as a Ford Foundation fellow he began research on the Namau, the people of the Purari Delta in Papua New Guinea, concentrating on culture change and, in particular, on the modernist Tommy Kabu Movement. In 1961, he published New Men of Papua: A Study in Cultural Change which earned him the Genevieve Gorst Herfurth Award for outstanding social science. He returned to Papua New Guinea in 1973, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, and 1983, often only staying there for a small amount of time. In 1960-1961, Maher began a Senior Fulbright Research Grant funded study of the ethnological and archeological history of the Ifugao region of the Philippines. He returned to that area in 1973, 1975, 1978, and 1982. While in Ifugao, Maher conducted cultural studies and excavations in eleven villages and over four agricultural districts including the Banaue, Burnay, and Kiangan districts. Maher also carried out ethnological and archeological work in the United States. He was a member of the University of Wisconsin Chippewa Reservation Research Project in 1951-1952, and he and his students worked with the Potowatomi of Michigan from 1959 forward. In 1952, he was an assistant director of excavations at the Black Widow site in South Dakota for the River Basin Surveys. He also carried out archeological work in Wisconsin and at Aztalan in the Southwest. Outside the United States, he carried out a survey of villages in Okyama Prefecture in Japan in 1960. Maher died of cancer in 1987 shortly before he was due to retire after 30 years of teaching. The University of Western Michigan has established an anthropology scholarship in his name. Sources Consulted: Solheim, Wilhelm G. 1967 Robert F. Maher 1922-1987. Asian Perspectives 27(1). Chronology 1922 -- Born on July 14 in Eldora, Iowa 1948 -- B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconson at Madison 1950 -- M.S. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison 1953-1954 -- Instructor at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee 1954-1955 -- Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea 1956-1957 -- Instructor at DePauw University 1958 -- Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison 1959-1960 -- Research on the Potawatomi in Michigan 1960 -- Fieldwork in Okayama Prefecture, Japan 1960-1961 -- Fieldwork in the Philippines 1961 -- Published New Men of Papua 1966-1987 -- Professor at Western Michigan University 1973 -- Fieldwork in the Philippines Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea 1974 -- Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea 1975 -- Fieldwork in the Philippines 1976 -- Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea 1978 -- Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea Fieldwork in the Philippines 1982 -- Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea Fieldwork in the Philippines 1983 -- Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea 1987 -- Died of cancer on March 26
Provenance:
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Robert Maher's wife, Lee Maher, in 1988.
Restrictions:
The Robert Francis Maher papers is open for research. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Manuscripts
Sound recordings
Maps
Field notes
Genealogical tables
Correspondence
Citation:
Robert Francis Maher papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.1997-02
See more items in:
Robert Francis Maher papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-1997-02