Originally Published in 1913

View PDF

Mr. Louis Shotridge, who with his wife contributes the leading article to this number of the JOURNAL, has been in the employ of the Museum since May, 1912. The drawings with which he has illustrated his article on house construction in the pages of the JOURNAL are the first drawings of the kind he has ever made, never having received any instruction. Likewise, the model of his native village, of which a photograph is shown on page 103, is his first attempt at a work of this kind. It was in 1905 that the Director of the Museum met Mr. Shotridge, then a youth of twenty-two years, during a trip which he made that year to Alaska. Again in 1907, while on his way to northern Alaska, he was met by Mr. Shotridge on the coast at the mouth of the Chilkat River. At that time the Director made a trip up the Chilkat River to Kluckwan, Mr. Shotridge’s native village. He found that the aboriginal architecture of the natives was fast disappearing by the decay of the old family houses and the innovation of the white man’s methods. With the idea of preserving a faithful record of the native architecture of the region, he was anxious to have a model prepared in which the buildings would correspond with the older houses which still survived in Kluckwan. The model which has now been prepared by Mr. Shotridge reproduces several of the principal houses of that village. In the construction of these houses, each part and the method of joining, as well as the furnishing, corresponds in detail with the originals.

In addition to the model and drawings, Mr. Shotridge has prepared for the records of the Museum a full description of the method of preparing the several timbers and individual parts for the Chilkat house, together with the native designation of each member.

Although Mr. Shotridge has learned to employ the phonetic system which has been devised and approved by the most experienced investigators for recording native languages, it is not employed in the writing of Chilkat words which occur in the article now published. To write native words in unfamiliar characters repels the eye of all but the student familiar with the system employed. In writing the native words, therefore, the twenty-six letters of our alphabet are employed in such combinations as will give the nearest approach they are capable of giving to the phonetics of the Tlingit language.

The Museum has recently purchased a collection of fourteen antique Chinese bronzes, of which two are Buddhist images and the others are bronze vases decorated for the most part by impressed designs. Most of the pieces date from the early Ming Dynasty.

The collections in the Babylonian Section of the Museum have recently been enriched by the purchase of a tablet containing a portion of the famous Gilgamesh epic, dating from the time of the first dynasty of Babylon, about 2100 B. C. The tablet is evidently one of the series of twelve, which contained the entire epic.

Mr. Otto Hanson, who has been engaged during the past year in making an ethnological collection among the Bogobos in Southern Mindanao in the Philippines, has returned to Davao, according to the brief ad-vices that have been received. Full reports of the expedition are expected shortly from Mr. Hanson.

Mr. Robert Burkitt, who has been engaged to make ethnological studies in Central America and to make a general archaeological survey, is at present pursuing his studies in the highlands of Guatemala.

The following objects presented to Mr. Burkitt for the Museum by residents in the Alta Vera Paz are acknowledged with thanks:
A narrow-necked jar, fragment of a tablet and fragment of a vessel presented by Mr. Otto Schvvarzwalder.
A pear-shaped vase presented by Mr. Charles Mazariegos. Pottery objects and fragments presented Mr. Paul Mittelstaedt. A cylindrical jar presented by Mr. John Tafel.
Three vases presented by Messrs. Kenneth Champney and Co. Pottery fragments presented by Mr. Joseph Sauter.
Pottery fragment with relief presented by Mr. John Traut-mann.
Pottery fragments presented by Mr. H. R. Dieseldorff.
Human head modeled in clay, presented by Mrs. R. Hempstead.
Pottery fragments presented by Mrs. Augustus Theseldorti. Terra-cotta whistle and water jar presented by Miss Dieseldorff.
Pottery fragment presented by Mr. Salvador Oliva.

The latest news from the Amazon Expedition has been received through a letter from Dr. Farabee, written on August 3d at Caracari at the head of navigation on the Rio Branco. The expedition having proceeded this far without mishap, was preparing to push on to the headwaters of the Rio Branco, where the first observations will be made on the native tribes of Northern Brazil.

Owing to the building operations now in progress, the rear portion of Pepper Hall, occupying the central part of both floors, has been partitioned off for the workmen employed in making the alterations and connections with the new wing. The exhibits have been withdrawn from both of these sections. Some of these exhibitions have been installed in other halls by condensing the exhibits already there. Of necessity, some of the pieces have been withdrawn temporarily from exhibition.

Stephen Langdon, Esq., A.M., of Jesus College, Oxford, has been granted permission to work upon the cuneiform texts in the Babylonian Section of the Museum. Mr. Langdon has accordingly undertaken to copy and prepare translations of a number of religious documents from the Nippur collections. These copies, with their translations, when complete, will form a volume in the publications of the Babylonian Section.

A large case containing the Cretan collections from the last excavations at Vrokastro, held for some months at Piraeus on account of the war, has now been safely received in the Museum.

The lecture course for the coming season is in preparation. The subjects chosen will, as in former years, have special reference to the history of the human race, and already several lecturers of distinction have been engaged. The course will begin on November 1st and in the meantime a preliminary program will be distributed to members of the Museum on October 20th.

The following new members have been elected to the Museum: Fellowship Members: Samuel T. Bodine, B. Talbot B. Hyde, Edward C. Dale. Annual Members: J. W. Hamer, Otto T. Mallery.

Cite This Article

"Notes." The Museum Journal IV, no. 3 (September, 1913): 114-116. Accessed February 21, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

Report problems and issues to