This subseries of the Southern California/Basin series contains John P. Harrington's research on Mohave.
Harrington organized his early linguistic and ethnographic notes into more than eighty categories, covering a broad spectrum of Mohave culture from daily practices to mythological and religious beliefs. The variety of content and order of arrangement are encyclopedic. Most of the material is original data from numerous native speakers. Animal and plant notes are also filed in this section. Notes on these topics stem from the Mohave Valley Expedition made with Henderson and Robbins. A typescript of Henderson's report precedes the botanical notes and one by Robbins precedes the zoological notes.
The semantic slipfile consists of data from the original field notes rewritten on slips and arranged in thirteen semantic divisions. Some new information provided by Irving and Wagner was inserted. Material relative to other Yuman tribes is included and almost all categories contain some inextricably interwoven Chemehuevi data which were originally provided by Chemehuevi speakers Jack Jones, John Pete, William Johnson, and Patty Smith. In most instances, the Chemehuevi equivalences are clearly marked. Information on kinship is relatively substantial.
Two Mohave notebooks are also present. One contains vocabulary and texts credited to "Mr. Edgar, Needles, Cal." The other is a packet of loose pages evidently removed from a notebook covering random linguistic and ethnographic data.
Another section consists of a small set of grammar notes arranged under such headings as language, phonology, and morphology. Some notes apparently were taken as early as 1907 and were transferred to slips in 1910 and 1911.
The section of miscellaneous notes on Yuman languages contains Yuma, Cocopa, and Walapai field notebooks. They are principally ethnographic and are difficult to read. Unrelated small groups of notes include Mohave, Yuma, Maricopa, Havasupai, and Walapai ethnographic data, probably provided by Joe Homer. There are lecture notes and students' papers probably from one of the courses which Harrington gave at the University of Colorado. Three small groups of slips include a list of Yuman clan names and a series of excerpts from a Yuman notebook which has not been located. The third is a copy of some Yavapai terms supplied by Barbara Freire-Marreco.
Late linguistic and ethnographic notes contain what appears to be the first draft of a manuscript on Mohave culture. Such subjects as sociology, religion and mythology, physical and mental characteristics, the Mohave universe, warfare, and design are covered. A variety of notes on historical events and on the geographic, political, and economic life of the Needles area was compiled from published sources and correspondence with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and with Indian Agency superintendents. The focus is on Mohave with some general Yuman references. The material has evidently undergone several reorganizations and notes from informants of the earlier period are interfiled. New linguistic and ethnographic information was supplied principally by Hal Davidson, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lewis, and Russell. Comparative terms appear in Yuma, Maricopa, Chemehuevi, and Paiute. Kroeber apparently lent Harrington some of his personal manuscripts, and information from this source is introduced as "Kr. notes." Correspondence with Charles Battye and excerpts from his scrapbooks in the possession of the Needles Public Library are also contained among these notes.
Another section consists of notes and drafts on material culture. They are arranged alphabetically and predominantly ethnographic. Notes came from the earlier period and such 1946 informants as Davidson and the Lewises. George Turner contributed numerous placenames.
The subseries also contains notes and drafts of tribenames. They represent an attempt to identify ethnic names applied to Yuman and some neighboring non-Yuman tribes. Some of the Mohave names may have been given by bilingual Chemehuevi speakers in July 1946, when Harrington and Murl Emery traveled the Colorado River-Mohave Valley area. A brief typescript follows the notes.
The section of semantically arranged notes consists of small amounts of data on minerals, pigments, fire, plants, animals, hunting, food, and medicine.
The section of late grammatical notes is also small. The notes originated mainly from Russell, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, and Warren McCord. He based some hearings on Kroeber's (1911) "Phonetic Elements of the Mohave Language" and Sapir's (1930) "Southern Paiute Language." He also drew on A. M. Halpern's (1946 and 1947) six monographs on Yuma grammar published in the International Journal of American Linguistics. In the mid-1950s he again turned to Halpern and produced a small section of comparative Yuman terms.
The final section of the subseries consists of miscellaneus notes, including drafts of a paper on Mohave history and culture and another on the Kuchan vocabulary of George H. Thomas.
Biographical / Historical:
As a teacher of modern languages at Santa Ana High School in California (1906-1909), John P. Harrington spent his vacations studying Mohave and Yuma in Needles and Yuma, California. Working with a young Mohave woman in Needles in 1907, Mohave was the first Indian language that he ever recorded.
From 1909 until 1915, when he joined the Bureau of American Ethnology, Harrington held various positions with the Museum of the University of New Mexico and the School of American Archaeology, based mainly in Santa Fe. Along with work in other indigenous languages and cultures, he pursued his Mohave studies in Lincolnia, Cottonia, Needles, and Fort Mohave. The focus was on Mohave with ethnographic references to Yuma, Maricopa, Cocopa, Havasupai, and Walapai.
Under the auspices of the Bureau of American Ethnology, the School of American Archaeology, and the University of Colorado, he was ethnologist for a Mohave Valley expedition undertaken in March and April 1911, in conjunction with Junius Henderson and W. W. Robbins. Henderson identified the botanical life of the Mohave Valley and Robbins the zoological.
According to field notes and reports, the years 1910 and 1911 were the most productive ones for this first period of accumulation of Mohave data. Harrington worked with a number of people who spoke Mohave and Chemehuevi, resulting in numerous comparative references. Among the many Mohave speakers, Lee Irving (abbreviated L. I.), Mr. Edgar (Rev. Edgar), Ferd Wagner (Mr. Ferd), and Peter Dean (Peter) contributed substantially. Harrington primarily worked with Wagner in 1907. Edward H. Davis accompanied him on various placename trips and apparently advised him on the collection of artifacts. Financial records indicate that he spent about six weeks in Needles in late spring, 1914, collecting objects for the Panama-California Exposition.
A second period of endeavor commenced in 1946 with new recordings from Hal Davidson (Hal), Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lewis, George Turner, and Russell. Returning from the field to Washington, D.C., in 1947, Harrington compiled a variety of notes on historical events and interfiled some of his earlier material. The physical arrangement indicates an interest in drafting a paper on Mohave culture, more ethnographic than linguistic.
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.