Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
13 documents - page 1 of 1

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:

Language

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
0.58 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1978-1982
Scope and Contents:
In the course of his fieldwork in Mayotte, Breslar became fluent in Shimaore (Mahorais). According to his wife, Breslar obtained permission from the prefect of Mayotte to teach a course on the language in 1980-1981 in Mamoutzu, the capital of Mayotte; he may have also taught the course in Dzaoudzi. This series contains his teaching materials for the course and articles on the languages of Mayotte, which includes a typescript manuscript by Sophie Blanchy.
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
Identifier:
NAA.2007-04, Series 3
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref212

[Articles on the languages of the Comoro Islands]

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
2 Folders
Container:
Box 7
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Scope and Contents:
Also contains list of vocabulary in Mahorais / French
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 3: Language
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref214

Writings

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1.54 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1870-1984
bulk 1959-1984
Scope and Contents:
This series contains Breslar's writings, writings by others, and bibliographies. Most of the documents relate to the Comoro Islands and the Mayotte habitat project, but there are also materials on Madagascar, possibly from Breslar's original plans to conduct fieldwork in that area. This series also contains a photocopy of Paul Ottino's writings on sociology and social anthropology. Writings by Breslar that can be found in this series are his dissertation, "An Ethnography of the Mahorais (Mayotte, Comoro Islands); a copy of his paper with Michael Lambek, "Funerals and Social Change in Mayotte"; his typescript manuscript, "An Overview of the Project to Improve the Social Habitat of Mayotte"; and L'Habitat Mahorais: Une Perspective Ethnologique. Writings by others consist of photocopies of newspaper clippings, articles, and monographs; manuscripts; and theses. Breslar's handwritten notes can be found interfiled with some of these materials. Most of the writings in this series are in French and English, with one manuscript in Arabic. Progress reports and research proposals that Breslar sent to the Social Science Research Council can be found in Series 1. Correspondence along with his other manuscript that he coauthored with Lambek, "Death and Politics in Mayotte." Articles that Breslar collected on languages can be found in Series 3. Languages.
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
Identifier:
NAA.2007-04, Series 4
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref228

Breslar, Jon: "An Ethnography of the Mahorais (Mayotte, Comoro Islands)

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
2 Folders
Container:
Box 9
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Date:
1981
Scope and Contents:
Copy of Breslar's dissertation produced by University Microfilms International.
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 4: Writings / 4.1: Comoro Islands
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref240

Habitat Mahorais: Rapport de présentation

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Container:
Box 10
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Date:
1979
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 4: Writings / 4.2: Habitat Project
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref257

Habitat Mahorais: Étude analytique et Perspectives - Bernard Chatain & Leon Attila Cheyssial

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Container:
Box 10
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Date:
Undated
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 4: Writings / 4.2: Habitat Project
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref258

L'Habitat Mahorais: Une Perspective Ethnologique - Jon Breslar

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Date:
Undated
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 4: Writings / 4.2: Habitat Project
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref259

Habitat Mahorais: Bilan des Premieres Realisations - Michel Besombes and Pierre-Yves Perrot

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Container:
Box 11
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Date:
1982
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 4: Writings / 4.2: Habitat Project
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref260

Photographs

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Extent:
1.17 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
Circa 1975-1982
Scope and Contents:
This series is composed of prints and 35mm slides of Mayotte villages, Mahorais, and their ceremonies. Also in the series are prints of an Arabic manuscript; photocopies of the manuscript can be found in Series 4. Writings. The 35mm slides appear to be from his field work for his dissertation while some of the prints appear to have been taken while Breslar was in the field working on the housing project. Sixty-three of the prints were assigned a number by Breslar. Some of these were published in L'Habitat Mahorais: Une Perspective Ethnologique, but the numbering on the prints do not all correspond with the numbering in the publication. At the beginning of Subseries: 35mm Slides is Breslar's guide to his slides, which lists 21 boxes. However, only 4 slide boxes were received with Breslar's papers, and the labels on the boxes (as listed below) do not correspond with any of the boxes in the guide. Of use in the guide is a key to the abbreviations Breslar used to label his slides.
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
Identifier:
NAA.2007-04, Series 5
See more items in:
Jon Breslar papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref455

[B/w 5x7" prints]

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Container:
Box 13
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Scope and Contents:
Photos of Mahorais, housing structures, and island
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 5: Photographs / 5.1: Prints
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref467

[B/w prints]

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Container:
Box 14
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Scope and Contents:
Includes images of Mayotte housing, Mahorais, circumcision ceremony, views of island from plane, and a photo of an unidentified young man (possibly Michael Lambek) standing by a car
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 5: Photographs / 5.1: Prints
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref470

[Numbered b/w prints for housing project]

Collection Creator:
Cidey, Guy  Search this
Breslar, Jon, 1949-2005  Search this
Container:
Box 14
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Scope and Contents:
Several of these prints were published in L'Habitat Mahorais: Une Perspective Ethnologique; only numbering of some of the photos correspond with numbering in publication
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 5: Photographs / 5.1: Prints
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2007-04-ref472

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By
  • Breslar, Jon
  • Cidey, Guy
  • Breslar, Jon
  • Cidey, Guy
  • National Anthropological Archives