1954 ORIGINAL AND FASCINATING TYPESCRIPT OF TWO JOURNALS AS THEY TRAVEL TO RURAL ALASKA TO STUDY THE INDIGENOUS YAKUTAT TLINGIT, FROM TWO ANTHROPOLOGISTS, ONE WHO IS A NEW GRADUATE STUDENT AND THE OTHER ESTABLISHED AND VERY FAMOUS IN THE FIELD

By: FREDERICA De LAGUNA and MARY JANE LENZ (nee DOWNS)

Price: $5,455.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is a fascinating original typescript of the journals of two incredibly well noted and respected anthropologists, Frederica de Laguna and Mary Jane Lenz. The 154-page carbon copy dates from February 8th 1954 to April 18th of the same year, when the two female anthropologists were in Alaska doing field work on the Yakutat Tlingit Indians near Juneau. The manuscript comes from the estate of Mary Lenz, who was at the time a graduate assistant at Bryn Mawr, where Frederica de Laguna headed the anthropology department. The journal is arranged chronologically, with the entries of the two writers interleaved. De Laguna's entries take up 67 pages, and run from Feb. 8 through April 1, while Mary Lenz's entries are slightly longer at 87 pages, covering the period of Feb. 13 through April 18. As opposed to the actual field work and observations of the Alaskan natives, the journal's focus mainly on the women's everyday activities and include many anecdotes about local events and the authors' interactions with residents, colleagues, and government officials. They write often of the lives of the Native Tlingit people, holding on to their ancestral ways while also having to become a part of the economic system, and the problems this holds. There are common stories of alcoholism, of the psychosis and poor mental health of some Tlingit and of the reaction of the Tlingit to being studied by the two women. There are also some events in which the two women are not allowed to attend, and must hear about it second hand from a friend in the tribe. The journal also provides a tremendous counterpoint looking at the journey through the eyes to two women in very different parts of their careers. By the time of the journal, Frederica de Laguna had founded and chaired the anthropology department at Bryn Mawr College from 1938 onwards, and served as vice-president of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) from 1949 to 1950. She was already quite an established name in Native American Anthropology and her prestige was only growing. Mary Jane Lenz was only 24 years old at the time of this journal, finishing up her Master’s thesis and just beginning her career in anthropology and indigenous studies. These differences and contrasts can be easily seen throughout the journal. Especially in their observations of the surroundings, Mary Lenz writes often of the cold, barren environment in that part of Alaska, as it is obviously much more new to her than to de Laguna who rarely comments on the weather other than to say whether it was sunny or overcast, cold or warm, and weather it snowed or didn’t. The journals come in a three-ring binder with "MJD Diary" written on the spine. The ‘D’ refers to Lenz's maiden name of Downs. Two of the spines are not touching, so it can be a bit more difficult to turn the pages. The hard cover and spine have cloth over binder’s board. Much of the original blue color has faded. The pages within are still in good condition, showing some wear near the edges and fringes, and especially around the 3-hole punch in each page, but there is nothing that affects the legibility or structure of the page. The typewritten words are still, for the most part, dark and easily readable. There are some pages where the words have faded more than others, but the content can still be read easily. There pages are almost always from Mary Lenz’s diary. TEXT: Juneau, Monday, Feb. 8, 1954. F de L. Docked about 6 PM. After unpacking a bit at Juneau hotel, we went down to the lobby where Mr. Gray (pere) introduced Mr. Weber, (Public Works, Housing, Interior Dept.) down from Fairbanks.... Gordon Gray (U S Commissioner for Juneau) came in. We discussed various things, including Yakutat housing. He reports that Mrs. Annie Simmons and J B Mallott were here until about Friday. Mrs. S. had written a letter about Mallott (a letter of complaint) enumerating both past and present delinquencies...He went on to say that Mallott was no longer commissioner and that Jim Porter (“Yakutat Joe”) had been commissioner before, but that Mrs. Simmons had run Porter and his job...Apparently they have now returned to Yakutat...We saw in the paper that Ray Smith, Carl Messer, and John Bremner returned from Juneau to Yakutat on Saturday...The radio reported a speech by “Dr.” Will Chase, 80-year old Mayor of Cordova, that there was a wealth of uranium in the area”; “Juneau, Thursday, Feb. 11, 1954. F de L.... Wanted pictures taken of some things from Yakutat. She promised to get photographer. However, after lunch I borrowed tripod from Trevor Davis of the Snap Shop and tools shots myself. Photographer was there to size up job and I ordered good pictures from him. Took shots of gidjuk screen from Gau Hit, of Bear Post (sold 4 years ago by William Milton), and of Frank Italio’s Thunderbird screen. The Bear post is rather short. It has a red bear with silver inlay eyes. The bear holds a little man...the gidjuk screen has the bird holding two marmots in its talons, and stands on an elaborate head which represents the mt. where it hurt its wings.”; “Sunday February 14, 1954. MJD. We woke up this morning to a stone-cold house (don’t know the exact temperature, but there was ice on the kitchen floor) and worked on the stove in the kitchen for almost an hour before it got hot enough to cook breakfast. After breakfast we went down to Mallott’s to replenish our rapidly-dwindling supply of stove oil. We cleaned out the stove, which was a mess -- all choked with ashes and soot....F. [Frederica] went down to visit with Emma Ellis while Delly and I did the dishes, straightened up in the kitchen, and huddled over the stove. F. came back and reported that she had had an interesting conversation with Emma, who is in the process of becoming a shaman. She told us that Emma had been having dreams that her dead husband, Jack, would be reborn, and that Emma thinks Esther Bremner’s new little baby girl is the reincarnation of Jim...We saw some fur seals out in the bay and we used Harry’s glasses to look at them...Then [Harry] told F. a story about how the people of this family first learned how to fish for halibut, and how they got the secret from the sea otter. I missed most of this story, but F. was busily recording and I think must have gotten it all...We looked up ‘sax’sati’ in Boas, and F. told me to read the native history of Yakutat to learn words.”; “3/11/54. We stayed close to home all afternoon waiting for Annie to appear and tell us about the potlatch. But she didn’t come. We don’t know whether someone objected to our coming and she didn’t want to tell us, or whether perhaps the weather was so bad she didn’t want to go out to see Charley White, or whether they’d just assumed we would come anyone, or whether they weren’t going to record songs and thought that would be our only interest in coming. Doubtless we will eventually find out what happened, but it was very disappointing not to be able to go. The electricity didn’t come on. It looked as if the whole native population was at the potlatch, because we saw no lights in any of the houses except the Bremner’s...The Abraham’s light came on later in the evening, just as we were getting ready to go to bed. When we opened the back window the snow was so deep outside F. had to put a board across to keep it from drifting in.” (Bio Notes: Mary Lenz was born in 1930. As an undergraduate, Mary Jane began work at Beloit College Logan Museum of Anthropology, She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Beloit in 1952 with a degree in Anthropology. In 1954 she received her Master's degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Bryn Mawr. For her Master’s research, she did fieldwork in the Tlingit community of Yakutat under the direction of the distinguished anthropologist Frederica de Laguna. After many years of focusing her attention on her young family, and prompted by a New York Times article about the challenges facing the Museum of the American Indian–Heye Foundation, Mary Jane contacted Frederick J. Dockstader, then director of the museum. As a result of their discussions, she joined the museum’s staff in 1974. She was appointed director of its Archaeological Lab in 1976 and worked on materials recently excavated from Marajo Island near the mouth of the Amazon in Brazil. From 1977 onward she worked in the Curatorial Department, where she helped conduct a complete inventory of the museum’s collections as well as assisted researchers with their work. Mary Jane was also involved in supporting early repatriation requests from the Haudenosaunee, A:shiwi, and Kwakwaka’wakw nations, and in the return of sacred objects to the Omaha and Hidatsa. During this period, she continued her education by taking graduate courses in Anthropology at the City University of New York. In addition to her contributions to museum publications—including books for most of the exhibitions mentioned above—Mary Jane wrote for American Indian Art Magazine and served on their editorial board and published in Art & Antiquities. She died in March 2016; Frederica ("Freddy") de Laguna (October 3, 1906 – October 6, 2004) was an American ethnologist, anthropologist, and archaeologist influential for her work on Paleoindian and Alaska Native art and archaeology in the American northwest and Alaska. She founded and chaired the anthropology department at Bryn Mawr College from 1938 to 1972 and served as vice-president of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) from 1949 to 1950 and as president of the American Anthropological Association(AAA) from 1966 to 1967. She resumed her professorial duties at Bryn Mawr College after WW2 and then returned to the Northern Tlingit region of Alaska in the 1950s, leading to her "comprehensive three-volume monograph...considered [to be] the authoritative work on the Yakutat Tlingit." de Laguna's honors include Bryn Mawr College's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1972; her election into the National Academy of Sciences as the first woman, with former classmate Margaret Mead, in 1976; the Distinguished Service Award from the AAA in 1986; a potlatch from the people of Yakutat in 1996; and the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999.) OVERALL: G.

Title: 1954 ORIGINAL AND FASCINATING TYPESCRIPT OF TWO JOURNALS AS THEY TRAVEL TO RURAL ALASKA TO STUDY THE INDIGENOUS YAKUTAT TLINGIT, FROM TWO ANTHROPOLOGISTS, ONE WHO IS A NEW GRADUATE STUDENT AND THE OTHER ESTABLISHED AND VERY FAMOUS IN THE FIELD

Author Name: FREDERICA De LAGUNA and MARY JANE LENZ (nee DOWNS)

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Rare Book,

Publisher: YAKUTAT, ALASKA, AL, 1954

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: Folio - over 12" - 15" tall

Seller ID: 0009158

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, FREDERICA De LAGUNA, MARY JANE LENZ, MARY JANE DOWNS, YAKUTAT TLINGIT INDIANS, ALASKA, NATIVE AMERICANS, INDIGENOUS ALASKANS, ANTHROPOLOGY IN THE 20TH CENTURY, POST WORLD WAR TWO SCIENCE, ETHNOLOGY, ETHNOGRAPHY, BRYN MAWR COLLEGE, WOMEN SCIENTISTS, WOMEN PIONEERS, GRADUATE STUDIES, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, PROBLEMS IN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, INTERSECTION OF WESTERN AND NATIVE WAYS OF LIFE, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNAL, LOG, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D’ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL