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DPA Feasibility Study for an American Multi-Ethnic Folklore Company

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Assistant Secretary for History and Art  Search this
Container:
Box 12 of 45
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 337, Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Secretary for History and Art, American Revolution Bicentennial Records
See more items in:
American Revolution Bicentennial Records
American Revolution Bicentennial Records / Series 2: BICENTENNIAL PROJECTS FILES / Box 12
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0337-refidd1e2994

Robert Moody Laughlin papers

Creator:
Laughlin, Robert M.  Search this
Extent:
39 videocassettes (vhs)
1 videocassettes (betamax)
20 cd-rs
6 electronic discs (dvd)
65.09 Linear feet
50 floppy discs
147 sound recordings
Culture:
Tzotzil  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videocassettes (vhs)
Videocassettes (betamax)
Cd-rs
Electronic discs (dvd)
Floppy discs
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Audiotapes
Paper tapes
Photographs
Vocabulary
Manuscripts
Date:
1899-2016, bulk 1954-2016
Summary:
Robert Moody Laughlin was an American ethnologist specializing in the study of Mayan language, history, customs, and folklore. He spent the majority of his career working for the Smithsonian Institution, first with the Bureau of American Ethnology, then with the Department of Anthropology. He was a curator emeritus with the department from his retirement in 2006 until his death in 2020.

The Robert Moody Laughlin papers (1899-2016, bulk 1954-2016) document his research and professional activities and primarily deal with language and folktales he recorded and studied, as well as the culture and history of the Tzotzil and other Mayan groups in the Chiapas region. His involvement in language education and training, advocacy for the Tzotzil and language and cultural revitalization, and administrative matters at the Smithsonian are also represented. The collection consists of materials created for books and other publications, field notes, research materials, correspondence, administrative files, sound recordings, video recordings, photographs, and electronic records.
Scope and Contents:
The Robert Moody Laughlin papers (1899-2016, bulk 1954-2016) document his research and professional activities and primarily deal with language and folktales he recorded and studied, as well as the culture and history of the Tzotzil and other Mayan groups in the Chiapas region. His involvement in language education and training, advocacy for the Tzotzil and language and cultural revitalization, and administrative matters at the Smithsonian are also represented. The collection consists of materials created for books and other publications, field notes, research materials, correspondence, administrative files, sound recordings, video recordings, photographs, and electronic records.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in 14 series: Series 1. Tzotzil Dictionaries, 1963-1988, undated; Series 2. Of Wonders Wild and New, 1963-1976; Series 3. Of Cabbages and Kings, 1960-1977; Series 4. Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax, 1963-1980; Series 5. Other Writings by Laughlin, 1956-2006; Series 6. Writings by Others, 1954-2002; Series 7. Biographical Files, 1906-2003; Series 8. Correspondence, 1899-1900, 1948-2002; Series 9. Research and Field Notes, 1954-1993; Series 10. Sna Jtz'ibajom, 1983-2016; Series 11. Administrative Files, 1961-2014; Series 12. Sound Recordings, circa 1960-2004; Series 13. Video Recordings, 1985-2002, undated; Series 14. Photographic Material, 1985-circa 2007, undated; Series 15. Electronic Files, 1985-circa 2004.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Moody Laughlin (also known as Lol Bik'it Nab in Tzotzil) was an ethnologist in the Smithsonian Department of Anthropology specializing in modern and colonial Tzotzil lexicography as well as Tzotzil oral history, worldview, dreams, prayers, ethnobotany, and history. As a pioneer in advocacy anthropology, Laughlin spent the majority of his career working to support the Chiapas Mayas through his publications, research, and other professional efforts. Among his most notable contributions to local and global understandings of the Chiapas Mayas and the Tzotzil language were his publication of The Great Tzotzil Dictionary of San Lorenzo Zinacantan (1975) and his work in founding Sna Jtz'ibajom, a writers collective based in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

Laughlin was born in 1934 in Princeton, New Jersey, and graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelors degree in English in 1956. He first visited the Chiapas area of Mexico in 1957 as a graduate student at the Escuela Nacional de Antropologia e Historia in Mexico City. He then transferred to Harvard University and began studying under cultural anthropologist Evon Vogt who had recently started the Harvard Chiapas Project. Laughlin completed his field work in Zinacantan, where he learned to speak Tzotzil. After receiving his Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard in 1963, he collected myths and folk tales in Zinacantan as an ethnologist for the Smithsonian's Bureau of American Ethnology. During regular trips to the field in Chiapas, Mexico, he also worked to compile a dictionary of Tzotzil words. After fourteen years of work, The Great Tzotzil Dictionary of San Lorenzo Zinacantan was published in 1975.

After his dictionary was published, Laughlin returned to the study of folk tales and culture in Tzotzil and other Mayan cultural groups in Central America. He published several books on stories, dreams, marriage and other customs, ethnobotany, and history of the Tzotzil peoples. Laughlin's efforts at revitalizing the Tzotzil language and promoting the area's culture sparked significant Tzotzil interest in their own language and history, but illiteracy was still a major barrier to cultural revitalization. In 1983, Laughlin helped found Sna Jtz'ibajom (House of the Writer), a writers cooperative that took writings about Tzotzil history, folklore, and customs and translated them into Tzotzil. Sna Jtz'ibajom also created Teatro Lo'il Maxil (Monkey Business Theater), a group that wrote and performed plays related to Mayan folklore and education about social issues such as family planning and alcoholism.

Laughlin received the Premio Chiapas in Science in 2002 and the PEN Gregory Kolovakos Award for the translation of Spanish (including Native American) literature in 2004. He retired in 2006 and is currently a curator emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution.

Laughlin died on May 28, 2020, of Covid-19 complications.

Sources Consulted

Genzlinger, Neil. "Robert Laughlin, Preserver of a Mayan Language, Dies at 85." New York Times, June 24, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/science/robert-laughlin-preserver-of-a-mayan-language-dies-at-85.html

1934 -- Born on May 29 in Princeton, New Jersey

1956 -- Received Bachelor's Degree in English from Princeton University

1957 -- First trip to Chiapas area of Mexico in 1957 as a graduate student at the Escuela Nacional de Antropologia e Historia in Mexico City

1959 -- Traveled to Chiapas as a member of the Harvard Chiapas Project

1961 -- Received Masters Degree in Anthropology from Harvard University

1962 -- Hired as an ethnologist by the Bureau of American Ethnology (Smithsonian Institution).

1962-1964 -- Ethnologist, Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution

1963 -- Received a Ph. D. in Anthropology from Harvard University

1964-1969 -- Associate Curator, Smithsonian Office of Anthropology

1969-1973 -- Associate Curator, Smithsonian Department of Anthropology

1973-2006 -- Curator, Smithsonian Department of Anthropology

1983 -- Aided in the foundation of Sna Jtz'ibajom (House of the Writer) in Chiapas.

2006 -- Retired from the Smithsonian Department of Anthropology.

2020 -- Died on May 28 of Covid-19 complications.
Separated Materials:
Material in Series 13. Video Recordings has been transferred to the National Anthropological Film Collection (NAFC), but is described in the this finding aid.
Provenance:
These papers were donated and transferred to the National Anthropological Archives by Robert M. Laughlin in 1985, 2011, and 2016 under accessions 1974-15, 2011-06, and 2016-16.
Restrictions:
The Robert Moody Laughlin papers are open for research.

Electronic media is currently restricted due to preservation concerns.

Please contact the archives for information on availability of access copies of audiovisual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the National Anthropological Film Collection may not be played.

Access to the Robert Moody Laughlin papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Language and languages -- Documentation  Search this
Dreams  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Audiotapes
Paper tapes
Photographs
Vocabulary
Manuscripts
Citation:
Robert Moody Laughlin papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NAA.2011-06
See more items in:
Robert Moody Laughlin papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2011-06
Online Media:

Kaypi Perú 1: Traditional Music and Dance

Creator:
National Museum of the American Indian  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2017-08-10T19:10:04Z
Topic:
Native Americans;American Indians  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianNMAI
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNMAI
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_55ObSreW_OA

Kaypi Perú 3: Traditional Music and Dance

Creator:
National Museum of the American Indian  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2017-08-10T19:10:06Z
Topic:
Native Americans;American Indians  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianNMAI
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNMAI
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_DSZlgdiNPnw

Kaypi Perú: This Is Peru - 4 Adu Group Project

Creator:
National Museum of the American Indian  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2020-05-20T20:07:57Z
Topic:
Native Americans;American Indians  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianNMAI
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNMAI
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_G7-6ES-qmrs

Kaypi Perú 2: Traditional Music and Dance

Creator:
National Museum of the American Indian  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2017-08-10T19:10:05Z
Topic:
Native Americans;American Indians  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianNMAI
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNMAI
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_Nad694uaX2s

Get off the Track

Creator:
National Museum of American History  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2018-07-12T17:41:13Z
Topic:
American History  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianAmHistory
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianAmHistory
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_RkShouI9DyQ

Making American Music - Nancy Dawson

Creator:
National Museum of American History  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2018-08-09T14:46:59Z
Topic:
American History  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianAmHistory
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianAmHistory
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_tHaGe5YeJ6c

Making American Music - A-Tisket, A-Tasket

Creator:
National Museum of American History  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2018-08-10T17:31:29Z
Topic:
American History  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianAmHistory
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianAmHistory
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_vl7GOdEkmuE

Intangible Cultural Heritage: An International Dialogue, Part 1

Creator:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2015-03-19T20:30:07Z
Topic:
Cultural property  Search this
Youtube Category:
People & Blogs  Search this
See more by:
smithsonianfolklife
YouTube Channel:
smithsonianfolklife
Data Source:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_jEIifbmm7rA

Corn, Beans, and Squash: What the Three Sisters Tell Us

Creator:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2020-07-02T16:54:06Z
Topic:
Cultural property  Search this
Youtube Category:
People & Blogs  Search this
See more by:
smithsonianfolklife
YouTube Channel:
smithsonianfolklife
Data Source:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_CTqDcGidxJA

Verification: Is there graffiti in Lincoln's watch?

Creator:
Smithsonian Education  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2014-04-16T14:36:46Z
Topic:
Education  Search this
Youtube Category:
Education  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianEducation
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianEducation
Data Source:
Smithsonian Education
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_CYB3SSuW35A

Gaston and Josephine

Publisher:
Simon & Schuster  Search this
Printer:
Western Publishing Co., Inc.  Search this
Illustrator:
Rojankvosky, Feodor  Search this
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
Object Name:
book and drawings
First printing:
1933
Second printing:
1949
Subject:
Entertainment, general  Search this
Children's Literature  Search this
ID Number:
COLL.GOLDNBK.000007
Accession number:
1992.0634
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Popular Entertainment
Little Golden Books
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-9502-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1436632

Howdy Doody's Circus

Publisher:
Simon & Schuster  Search this
Printer:
Western Publishing Co., Inc.  Search this
Author:
Kean, Edward  Search this
Illustrator:
Dauber, Liz  Search this
Gormley, Don  Search this
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
Object Name:
book and drawings
Date made:
1950
Subject:
Entertainment, general  Search this
Children's Literature  Search this
ID Number:
COLL.GOLDNBK.000014
Accession number:
1992.0634
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Popular Entertainment
Little Golden Books
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-bf35-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1436942

Good Luck Penny

Maker:
Harmon, Reuben Jr.?  Search this
Physical Description:
metal, copper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 1 1/8 in; x 2.8575 cm
Object Name:
Amulet
Location where used:
United States: Pennsylvania
Date made:
1786
Subject:
Folklore  Search this
Livestock  Search this
Occult sciences  Search this
Migration  Search this
Economics  Search this
Farming  Search this
ID Number:
CL.128343
Catalog number:
128,343
128343
Accession number:
18980
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Ethnic
Agriculture
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746aa-aa39-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_658886

Meissen leaf dish

Maker:
Meissen Manufactory  Search this
Physical Description:
hard-paste porcelain (overall material)
polychrome enamels (overall color)
Kakiemon (overall style)
Measurements:
overall: 6 in x 9 1/4 in; 15.24 cm x 23.495 cm
overall: 1 1/2 in x 9 5/16 in x 6 5/16 in; 3.81 cm x 23.6855 cm x 16.0655 cm
Object Name:
dish, leaf
Place made:
Germany: Saxony, Meissen
Date made:
ca 1740
1740
Subject:
Manufacturing  Search this
ID Number:
CE.74.135
Catalog number:
74.135
Accession number:
315259
Collector/donor number:
337
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Domestic Furnishings
Art
The Hans C. Syz Collection
Meissen Porcelain: The Hans Syz Collection
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746aa-5f29-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1405640

Framed Photograph of a Blue Ash Tree

Frame maker:
Bucher, William F.  Search this
Photographer:
U.S. Department of Agriculture. Forest Service  Search this
Physical Description:
wood (frame material)
glass (frame material)
Measurements:
overall: 39 cm x 34 cm; 15 3/8 in x 13 3/8 in
Object Name:
photograph & frame
Place Made:
United States: Kentucky
Date made:
1929
Subject:
frames  Search this
Trees  Search this
Credit Line:
William F. Bucher
ID Number:
AG.115767.22
Catalog number:
AG*115767.22
Accession number:
115767
Maker number:
25
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Forestry
Art
Natural Resources
Photography
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-bb5a-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_858669
Online Media:

Circassian Walnut Frame

Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 23 1/2 in x 28 in x 1 5/8 in; 59.69 cm x 71.12 cm x 4.1275 cm
Object Name:
frame
Subject:
frames  Search this
Credit Line:
William F. Bucher
ID Number:
AG.115767.15
Catalog number:
AG*115767.15
Accession number:
115767
Maker number:
18
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Forestry
Work
Natural Resources
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a6-a7d8-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_858796
Online Media:

The North Wind

Artist:
Miller, Benjamin  Search this
Associated Name:
Bernard, Allen W.  Search this
Maker:
Miller, Benjamin  Search this
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 27 cm x 40 cm; 10 5/8 in x 15 3/4 in
image: 21.9 cm x 32.6 cm; 8 5/8 in x 12 27/32 in
Object Name:
print
woodcut
Object Type:
Woodcut
relief printing
Date made:
1925
Subject:
Folklore  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Allen W. Bernard
ID Number:
2016.0084.027
Catalog number:
2016.0084.027
Accession number:
2016.0084
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Graphic Arts
Communications
Art
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b2-7834-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1811514

Arbol de la Muerte

Physical Description:
ceramic (overall material)
clay (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paint (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 51.5 cm x 39.5 cm x 14.5 cm; 20 9/32 in x 15 9/16 in x 5 23/32 in
Object Name:
Candleholder
Subject:
Folklore  Search this
Folk Religion  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Janice and Glenn Hatfield
ID Number:
2016.0083.04
Accession number:
2016.0083
Catalog number:
2016.0083.04
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Ethnic
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b3-37a0-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1825222

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