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Catalog Data

Harrington, John Peabody, 1884-1961  Search this
Collection Creator:
Harrington, John Peabody, 1884-1961  Search this
3 Boxes
Akimel O'odham (Pima)  Search this
Tohono O'odham (Papago)  Search this
Seri  Search this
Indians of Mexico  Search this
Indians of North America -- Southwest, New  Search this
Archival materials
Field notes
Scope and Contents:
This subseries of the Mexico/Central America/South America series contains Harrington's research on Pima, Papago, Seri, and Opata. The materials consist of notes from secondary sources, notes on court cases, notes relating to Seri, records of placename trips, Pima and Papago linguistic notes, and miscellaneous notes and correspondence. Early in his career Harrington compiled a "Pima Bibliography" and extracted ethnographic information on the Pima tribe from the writings of Edward S. Curtis--a typical citation reads "C 2 118"--and Frank Russell. In addition, he extracted animal and plant names from Russell's The Pima Indians (1908). Handwritten notes were also taken from Curtis' description of the Papago. Additional material from an unidentified source includes a 350-page series of typed texts of songs and speeches for various occasions. Categories include invitations to neighboring villages; notes on modern songs and ceremonials; and information on agricultural growth and harvest, deer hunting, salt, curing sugar, puberty, cleansing, superstitions, war and victory, pleasure and profit, and shamanism. Notes on court cases pertain to Pueblo of Santa Rosa v. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of Interior in 1920. The case elicited a statement from J. Walter Fewkes on the ethnological and sociological differences between the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and the Pima and Papago Indians of Arizona and Sonora. Harrington's notes on these differences and a copy of the Fewkes report are filed with this body of material. His Seri notes include an undated proposal for a "Lower California and Sonora Expedition" which was to be headed by Charles Sheldon for the National Geographic Society. There is also an information sheet from the American Consulate dated May 1924. Harrington did not participate in the expedition but his files contain a five-page Seri vocabulary recorded by Sheldon in December 1922, two pages of notes and sketches on baskets in the "Sheldon Collection," and a few ethnographic notes mentioning Sheldon. In addition, there are six pages of notes from conversations with Mr. [George] Heye regarding Seri artifacts. This subseries also contains Harrington's notes from his placename trips through southern California and Arizona into Sonora, Mexico. There are excerpts from Fray Pedro Font's diary of those travels for the period October 3 to 6, 1775, as well as references to the historical studies of Bolton. In the course of his investigation, Harrington kept five notebooks which contain not only a sizable vocabulary of placenames but also a potpourri of peripheral information including data on geographical areas defined by the various Pima and Papago dialects. The diary of the trip--written in a mixture of English and Spanish--includes odometer readings, descriptions of the terrain, mentions of photographs taken, and sketch maps of the relative position of various sites. There are also notes of historical interest, as well as detailed floor plans and views of various churches which he visited. In addition to acquiring geographic and ethnographic material, Harrington also obtained a fairly extensive general vocabulary from Eduarda Majuri and Lola Bermudes. The terms elicited from them--evidently in the Opata language ("Op.")--are found in notebook number four. Among his Pima and Papago linguistic files are notes from his interviews with Papago speakers Molly and Manual Williams. He recorded sixteen pages of random vocabulary and notes on phonetics. In addition, they responded to queries regarding placenames. This file also contains references to and excerpts from correspondence which Harrington had with "Jones" (possibly Mr. Jones Narcho, Tribal Secretary of the Papago), Father Bonaventure Oblasser (May 16, 1939), and a Mr. McFarland. The letters contain linguistic elaborations and etymologies of a brief list of placenames. There are also notes from his interview with Ernest McCray, superintendent at the San Carlos Indian Reservation. Mr. Rudolph Johnson, a Pima interpreter and warehouse keeper at Sacaton Reservation, was also present. Papago data were obtained from Roswell Manuel, described as an Indian policeman at Sells Agency and a deputy on the Papago Indian Reservation. In a separate session with Mr. Johnson, Harrington continued a discussion of placenames and tribenames and reheard data obtained from Luis Lopez. (The two men had further contact through correspondence in September 1948.) Additional information on the location of certain tribes was secured from a Pima speaker identified as Mr. King, who was an employee at Casa Grande Monument, some sixteen miles from Sacaton Agency. During the same time period, Harrington made ethnobotanical notes on an unpublished paper on the botany of Arizona by Robert H. Peebles (also spelled "Peoples"). He also made reading notes on "Southwestern Beans and Teparies" (1912) by G. F. Freeman, of the Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1946 Harrington utilized a list of Pima rancherias from Hodge's "Handbook" (1910) and a map from Herbert Eugene Bolton's Rim of Christendom (1936) as a basis for rehearing Pima placenames with informants Simon Jackson (abbreviated "Jackson") and Henry Shurz (abbreviated "Henry"). Related notes include rehearings of data from Ohue, an early informant for Chemehuevi; miscellaneous biographical references; reading notes; and a map of Arizona. Harrington's file of miscellany contains correspondence from 1947 and 1948, mostly regarding tribenames. Included are copies of letters exchanged with Louis Karpinsky of the University of Michigan; J. Alden Mason; Paul Lewis, an interpreter at the Pima Agency at Sacaton; and Rudolph Johnson, whom he had interviewed some ten years before. There are also brief notes dated 1947 on maps of the Southwest. These relate to photostatic copies of maps showing routes of the early Spanish explorers. There are two pages of notes on phonetics taken from the works of Juan Dolores.
Biographical / Historical:
John P. Harrington's interest in the languages of the U.S.-Mexican border began in the early period of his work in the Southwest--around 1908 to 1911--when he examined the work of Frank Russell and Edward Curtis on the Pima. Early in the first year of his employment with the Bureau of American Ethnology, he expressed a desire to visit the Pima Reservation, but the proposed trip evidently did not materialize. In 1924 Harrington hoped to participate in a National Geographic Society expedition to Lower California and Sonora for the purpose of securing linguistic and ethnographic data on the Seri. The party, headed by Charles Sheldon, was to include Harrington as linguist and his friend Paul Vogenitz as ethnologist, botanist, and zoologist. The trip did not take place, or Harrington at least did not participate in it. It was not until six years later that Harrington first traveled through the territory of the Pima and Papago tribes. In the spring of 1930, with Henry Cervantes as his assistant and chauffeur and Joe Moore as his auto mechanic, he began a placename trip following the route of the Anza expedition of 1775 -1776. Departing from Salinas, California, on March 18, they proceeded by way of Yuma, Tubac, and Nogales, Arizona, to Sonora, Mexico. Harrington later reported that they had covered 872 miles of desert driving. In the course of this placename trip, Harrington minutely described each day's route and often illustrated it with a roughly sketched map. Included in the itinerary were stops at Casitas, Querobabi, Chupisonora, Opodepi, Camou, and Imuris. In a letter to Matthew W. Stirling giving a detailed account of his travels, Harrington mentioned interviews with the following individuals: Jose Santallanez (nicknamed "El Huero"), Lino A. Parra, Angel Coronado, the Reverend Ubarola (elsewhere given as "Eustaquio Ebarola"), Adolfo Islas, Maria Viuda de Sanchez (possibly Nazaria Sanchez de Urias of the fieldnotes), Professor Cerapio Davila, and Rafael Curella. Expense accounts and the notes themselves list numerous other informants. In January 1931, Harrington received authorization to follow Anza's route through Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. His annual reports indicate, however, that he spent most of the year in California. At a California Exposition on Treasure Island in June 1939, Harrington had occasion to record a Papago vocabulary from Manuel and Molly Williams of the Papago Reservation at Sells, Arizona. Later in the fall he worked in the area of Arizonac Ranch and Arizonac Creek recording additional Papago terms, as well as Pima placenames. His Ietters to the B.A.E. list Harry Karns, Joe Wise, and his son Knight at Nogales; Lucio Napoleon, a ninety-year-old Papago; Cirildo T. Soto at Saric; and Captain Luis Lopez, head chief of the Papago of northern Sonora, as informants. He also mentioned making rapid progress under Mr. Jones Narcho, tribal secretary of the Papago. The notes themseives only mention Mr. and Mrs. Williams. Harrington was again in the Southwest between February and July of 1946, in the Sacaton, Arizona, region. At this time most of his efforts were devoted to rehearings in the Pima and Papago languages.
Local Numbers:
Accession #1976-95
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Pima language  Search this
Tohono O'odham dialect  Search this
Seri language  Search this
Opata language  Search this
Names, Geographical  Search this
Names, Ethnological  Search this
Ethnobotany  Search this
Language and languages -- Documentation  Search this
Linguistics  Search this
Field notes
Collection Citation:
John Peabody Harrington papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
The preferred citation for the Harrington Papers will reference the actual location within the collection, i.e. Box 172, Alaska/Northwest Coast, Papers of John Peabody Harrington, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution. However, as the NAA understands the need to cite phrases or vocabulary on specific pages, a citation referencing the microfilmed papers is acceptable. Please note that the page numbering of the PDF version of the Harrington microfilm does not directly correlate to the analog microfilm frame numbers. If it is necessary to cite the microfilmed papers, please refer to the specific page number of the PDF version, as in: Papers of John Peabody Harrington, Microfilm: MF 7, R34 page 42.
NAA.1976-95, Subseries 7.1
See more items in:
John Peabody Harrington papers
John Peabody Harrington papers / Series 7: Mexico/Central America/South America
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives