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Jon Breslar papers

Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
7.2 Linear feet (16 boxes, 21 cassette tapes, 12 audio reels, 1 map drawer )
Culture:
Mahorais  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Field notes
Sound recordings
Botanical specimens
Slides (photographs)
Photographic prints
Place:
Mayotte
Date:
1870-1984
bulk 1971-1982
Summary:
These papers document Jon Breslar's fieldwork on Mayotte, Comoro Islands for his dissertation as well as his work developing a new housing policy for Mayotte. The collection contains his professional correspondence, field notes, research notes, his writings, writings by others, newspaper clippings, teaching materials for his Shimaore language course, photographs, maps, plant specimens, and sound recordings.
Scope and Content note:
These papers document Jon Breslar's fieldwork on Mayotte, Comoro Islands for his dissertation as well as his work developing a new housing policy for Mayotte. The collection contains his professional correspondence, notes, writings, research materials, photographs, maps, plant specimens, and sound recordings.

Among his correspondents in the collection are Georges and Genevieve Boulinier, Michael Lambek, Paul Ottino, and Alexander Spoehr. The collection also contains his correspondence relating to arrangements for his trip to Mayotte as well as his fieldwork progress reports sent to the Social Science Research Council, which funded his research.

A copy of Breslar's dissertation can be found in the collection along with his field notes; maps; sound recordings of ceremonies and interviews with informants; plant specimens used for medicine; photographic prints; and 35 mm slides. Materials relating to his work on the Mayotte housing project consist of his research notes, photographs, and the L'Habitat publications produced from the project.

Michael Lambek and Breslar both conducted fieldwork on Mayotte at around the same time and collaborated on two papers: "Death and Politics in Mayotte" (presented at the 1977 76th American Anthropological Association meeting) and "Funerals and Social Change in Mayotte" (1986). A draft of the first paper can be found filed with Lambek's correspondence while a copy of the second paper is under Series 4. Writings.

In addition to Breslar's writings, the collection contains monographs, articles, and theses on the Comoro Islands and Madagascar by other authors. Most of the writings are in French and English, but there are also photocopies and photographic prints of a manuscript in Arabic.

Other materials that may be of interest are Breslar's teaching materials for his course on Shimaore. While in Mayotte, Breslar became fluent in Shimaore and offered a course on the language.
Arrangement:
Arranged into 8 series: (1) Correspondence, 1971-1989 [Bulk 1971-1978]; (2) Research, 1975-1980; (3) Language, 1979-1982; (4) Writings, 1870-1984 [Bulk 1959-1984]; (5) Photographs, circa 1975-1982; (6) Maps, 1955-1956; (7) Botanical Specimens, circa 1975-1982; (8) Sound Recordings, 1976
Biographical Note:
Jon Haskell Breslar, a sociocultural and applied anthropologist, was born on June 22, 1949 in Ware, Massachusetts. He received a B.A. in Anthropology and French in 1971 from Franklin & Marshall College and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1981.

As a doctoral student, Breslar originally planned to study ethnic identities and relationships in the Lac Alaotra region of Northeast Madgascar. His plans came to a halt, however, when officials from the Malagasy Embassy informed him that westerners were no longer allowed to conduct long term ethnological research in Madagascar. As a result, he decided to carry out his research in Mayotte, Comoro Islands. From 1975 to 1976, Breslar conducted fieldwork in the villages of Sada and M'Zouazia, which led to his dissertation, "An Ethnography of the Mahorais (Mayotte, Comoro Islands)." He still had not completed his dissertation when, upon the invitation of the French government, he returned to Mayotte for four months from November, 1977 to February, 1978 to develop a new housing policy for the Mahorais as a contractor for Société Immobilière de Mayotte. He returned to Mayotte again in September, 1978 to January, 1982, this time with his family, to continue work on the project. A pilot study was conducted and published in a three-volume set, one of which was Breslar's L'Habitat Mahorais: Une Perspective Ethnologique (1979-1982). The project resulted in the construction of more durable housing using low-cost materials.

In 1983, he joined the US Agency for International Development (USAID). During the course of his career at USAID, he was assigned to Nepal, Mali, and Lebanon (where he served as director). He rose to the diplomatic rank of Minister Counselor and was a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award and the Administrator's Award for Distinguished Career Service.

Breslar passed away at the age of 56, from lung cancer, on September 3, 2005.

Sources Consulted

Lambek, Michael. "Jon Haskell Breslar." Anthropology News 47.2 (2006): 35.

Chronology

1949 -- Born June 22 in Ware, Massachusetts

1971 -- Earns B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College in Anthropology and French

1975-1976 -- Conducts ethnological fieldwork in Mayotte, Comoro Islands.

1977-1978 -- Returns to Mayotte for four months to help develop new housing policy for the Mahorais as a contractor for Société Immobilière de Mayotte

1978-1982 -- Continues work on Mayotte housing project

1981 -- Earns Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh

1983 -- Joins USAID

1985-1989 -- Serves as USAID Rural Development Officer in Nepal

1989-1993 -- Serves as USAID Program Officer in Mali

1997 -- Visits Mayotte

2000-2002 -- Serves as Mission Director in Lebanon

2005 -- Dies on September 3 at the age of 56.

Selected Bibliography

1981 -- Ph.D. dissertation. "An Ethnography of the Mahorais (Mayotte, Comoro Islands)." University of Pittsburgh.

1979 -- L'Habitat Mahorais: Une Perspective Ethnologique. Paris: Editions A.G.G.

1986 -- with Michael Lambek. "Funerals and Social Change in Mayotte." Madagascar: Society and History. Durham: Carolina Academic Press.
Separated Materials:
Four 8mm film reels received with the papers of Jon Breslar have been transferred to the Human Studies Film Archives. The reels contain footage of a circumcision and other Mayotte rituals and ceremonies.
Provenance:
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Jon Breslar's wife, Bonnie. A copy of Breslar's dissertation was obtained by his wife and added to the collection at a later date.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Housing  Search this
Language and languages -- Documentation  Search this
Applied anthropology  Search this
Genre/Form:
Field notes
Sound recordings
Botanical specimens
Slides (photographs)
Photographic prints
Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2007-04
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2007-04
Online Media:

Breslar SR 1

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
1976 February 15?
Scope and Contents:
1. Conversation w/ Kamardine on Sharifs

2. 13 Feb 76

3. 1: full

4. 2: to 248

Appears to be a duplicate of #30
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref299
Online Media:

Breslar SR 2

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
1973
Scope and Contents:
March 76 -

Dinaho

Maohida at Moussa's
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref301
Online Media:

Breslar SR 3

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
1976
Scope and Contents:
Side 1: 5 July 76

Hale 20-660

Side 2: Ba lnaya [?]

#2 of 2 (decent conversation on silamo) 1-568
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref302
Online Media:

Breslar SR 4

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
1976
Scope and Contents:
Side 1: 28 July 76

Shirondroa to 570 or so

Side 2: 1 Nov. 76

w/ Inzudine #1 of 3 Full

See also Series 2. Research for transcription of interview with Inzudine
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref303
Online Media:

Breslar SR 5

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
1976
Scope and Contents:
Side 1: Fundi Amma's stuff

(cf. inside leaflet)

Side 2: 1 Nov 76 w/ Inzudine

#2 of 3 Full

[Leaflet]

1: 4 July 76

Shio of Amma Madi

15-220 Daira

220-320 MaMadi Diwan reading Twa'ibali Assimai

320-342 Amma Madi

See also Series 2. Research for transcription of interview with Inzudine
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref304
Online Media:

Breslar SR 6

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
1976
Scope and Contents:
Side 1 10 July 76

Marenge / Boeui

Full

Side 2 1 Nov 76

w/ Inzudine

#3 of 3 full

See also Series 2. Research for transcription of interview with Inzudine
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref305
Online Media:

Breslar SR 7

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
1976
Scope and Contents:
1: 24 Aug 76

Masamama [?] of Anjilane's Nyadza

Full, Notes to go w/ this

2: 24 Sept

To 363 w/ Masama

400-543 Sidi Jabir NIA on last day of tsumu

Singing and music followed by Breslar's comments in English
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref306
Online Media:

Breslar SR 8

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
1976
Scope and Contents:
1: 12 Sept 76 Notes on Houz's Circumcision

Immediately following it. Conversation w/ Oha, Dsindane, Abdou

M. Keli

Full

2: Full

Breslar's comments in English on circumcision and his conversations with informants
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref312

Breslar SR 9

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
1976
Scope and Contents:
1: Mugala (Mxisara [?])

4:00 AM --4:30 AM

1 October

2: Mugala Songs

(In MaDao's [?] back yard) w/ MaDao, MaMari, Nura, BaMari, Mwad. Masondi, Bunch of Kids

(6 Oct 76) 8-9 PM
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref313
Online Media:

Breslar SR 10

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
1976
Scope and Contents:
6 Oct 76

Side 1 1-226 w/ MaMari [?] & Madao,

Patrosy Songs

2 Nov 76

#1 of 2

Side 1 Abdou Rahman and Koran

250-end

Side 2 AR Full
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref314
Online Media:

Breslar SR 11

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
1A

G. Cidey á John

face 1. document 1 Tsingoni

doc 2 manuscrit de Chex Moukadara

1B

doc 2

doc 3 manuscrit de Nzouani variante Ahmed Charifou
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref315
Online Media:

Breslar SR 12

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
2A

doc 3 manuscrit Nzaouani (suite) variants

doc 4 about motion of conflict

doc 5 Ma tsingo

doc 6 Polè

doc 7 les ziyara [?]

2B
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref316

Breslar SR 13

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
Entretieu --Jon Madi, Jon Asanoti

Recording of interview
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref317

Breslar SR 14

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Program heavily distorted, starts and ends abruptly on both sides of tape. Cassette re-shelled and baked, but kept stopping during playback and could not safely transfer to digital format.
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
Ba Inzu [?] 1 --Full
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref318

Breslar SR 15

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Program heavily distorted, starts and ends abruptly on both sides of tape. Cassette re-shelled and baked, but kept stopping during playback and could not safely transfer to digital format.
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
Ba Inzu [?] 2 --Full

Interview
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref320

Breslar SR 16

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Program heavily distorted, starts and ends abruptly on both sides of tape. Cassette re-shelled and baked, but kept stopping during playback and could not safely transfer to digital format.
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
Ba Inzu [?] 3 1-437

Interview
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref321

Breslar SR 17

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
Ba Inzu [?] 4

Interview
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref322
Online Media:

Breslar SR 18

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
Ba Inzu [?] 5

Interview
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref323
Online Media:

Breslar SR 19

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
Ba Inzu [?] 6

Interview
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Jon H. Breslar papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Jon Breslar papers / Series 8: Sound Recordings
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref324
Online Media:

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