Anthropometric portraits of Maya people in the vicinity of Chichen Itza, probably made for Steggerda's Carnegie Institution publication 434, "Anthropometry of Adult Maya Indians: A Study of Their Physical and Physiological Characteristics," 1932.
Morris Steggerda (1900-1950) was a biological anthropologist who studied Mayan culture. He received his BA from Hope College in Michigan (1922) and his MA (1923) and PhD (1928) from the University of Illinois Department of Zoology. While still in his PhD program, he met Charles Davenport of the Department of Genetics at Carnegie Institution of Washington, with whom he studied the indigenous people of the British West Indies and published Race-Crossing in Jamaica (1929). Steggerda became an assistant professor at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, (1928-1930) before joining the research staff of the Carnegie Institution Department of Genetics based in Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, New York. During his fourteen-year career with the Institution, Steggerda did research in Yucatan, Mexico, and wrote two reports that were published by the Carnegie Institution in 1932 and 1941. In 1944, he was appointed professor of Anthropology at Hartford Seminary Foundation (Connecticut), a position which he kept until his death. Steggerda was a founding member of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in 1930 (later serving on its Executive Committee and as its vice president) and a councilmember for the American Anthropological Association.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 3319
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Additional Steggerda photographs held in the National Anthropological Archives in the Bureau of American Ethnology-Smithsonian Institution Illustrations.
Correspondence from Steggerda held in the National Anthropological Archives in the Handbook of South American Indians Records, Bureau of American Ethnology General correspondence, John Lawrence Angel Papers, Ales Hrdlicka Papers, and MS 4846.
The Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine holds the Steggerda Collection of anthropometric records.