1911 Notes

Originally Published in 1911

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AN ethnological collection comprising 402 specimens from New Zealand, Australia and the Islands of the South Seas. This collection, purchased through Mr. Herbert L. Clark, is to be
known as the E. W. Clark Collection.

A set of twenty-seven terra cotta figurines illustrating the costumes of different peoples of India, presented by Mrs. Richard L. Ashhurst.

Tapa cloth from the Sandwich Islands, presented by Miss Juliana Wood.

Samoa war club, presented by Mr. Leonard Myers.

Twenty ethnological specimens from Greenland, presented by Mrs. Richard L. Ashhurst.

A collection of 625 ethnological specimens procured from the Eastern Algonkian tribes of the United ‘States and Canada added to the George G. Heye Collection.

Five painted Indian buffalo robes by purchase.

A collection of fourteen pieces of Araucanian Indian silverwork by purchase.

Twelve ethnological specimens from the Alaskan Eskimo by purchase.
Old Indian war club presented by Mr. John Moss, Jr.

Model of Ojibway canoe from Northern Quebec, presented by Mr. A. P. Wiedersheim.

An ethnological collection comprising 2500 specimens from the Indians of the Northwest Coast added to the George G. Heye collection.

A collection of ninety-seven sacred bundles and costumes from Indian tribes in Oklahoma added to the George G. Heye collection.

Eight cases of pottery and other small antiquities from the Soudan Government, forming the final consignment to the Museum of the finds at Buhen.

A collection of over five hundred fragments of Coptic, Greek, Arabic and Demotic papyri purchased in Cairo through Mrs. C. C. Harrison.

One hundred pieces of Coptic, Greek, Arabic and Demotic papyri, presented by Mr. John F. Lewis.

An Egyptian stone lintel from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

A Hathor head in fayence, found in the ruins of Luxor, by purchase.

An Egyptian mummy from Mrs. L. A. Barakat.

A ceremonial vase from the ruins of a Greek Church in Messina, presented by Chev. Baldi through Dr. Allen J. Smith.

A life-sized seated marble statue of early Roman date representing Bacchus of Hercules, purchased through Mrs. Joseph Drexel.

A collection of twenty cameos, seals and coins from Mrs. William Pepper.


Various Activities.

Field work during the year was con- fined to some minor phases of investigation in North America.

During the spring, Dr. Frank G. Speck went to Northern Quebec where he obtained a considerable collection representing the material culture of the Montagnais Indians living in the vicinity of Lake St. John. During the summer, Dr. Speck visited the Penobscots where he obtained additional material for his monograph on the ethnology of that tribe.

Mr. Wilson D. Wallis, who was last year Harrison Fellow in Anthropology, spent the summer among the Micmac Indians of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, making collections, taking measurements and studying their ethnology. He also obtained a number of phonographic records of songs.

Miss Gerda Sebbelov spent the summer among the Osage Indians in Oklahoma on behalf of the Museum, carrying on special inquiries relative to the ceremonial life of the Osage.

Mr. W. C. Orchard was sent to North Dakota to study the house construction of the Sioux.

Doctor Speck and Mr. Wallis have made a preliminary report on the so-called Moors of Indian River, Sussex County, Delaware. During the investigations which they have been carrying on in that community they have been successful in collecting a body of information which is capable of being developed into an instructive record of a community made up of the amalgamation of three distinct races. In this case the three elements are known and for two of these elements specific anthropological data may be claimed. For the third these can be given only in very general terms. The people locally called Moors in Delaware are a mixture of White Europeans, African Negroes, and Nanticoke Indians. The proportion in which these three enter into the mixture can- not be determined with accuracy.

The descendants form to-day an exclusive community of about 700 souls on Indian River with a smaller community of about 300 at Cheswold, Kent County, Delaware. Each community maintains a strong consciousness that preserves its identity and keeps the families of which it is composed from intermarrying with either the whites or the negroes. Physically, the members of these communities are very well formed, their mental qualities are good and they are well-to-do.

To what extent the exclusiveness of these communities is due to Indian ancestry it is impossible to say, but Doctor Speck thinks that this feeling may be due to a dominating Indian tradition. They possess an abundance of folk-lore and superstitions, but whether these will be found to present characteristics which will associate them with either the Indian or the Negro it is not now possible to say. Magic and witchcraft are extensively practised and a belief in the specific medical virtues of various plants forms a body of local information that makes a suitable subject for further study.

Such a community as that on Indian River obviously offers interesting material for the study of one of the far-reaching aspects of modern anthropological re- search, namely the effects produced by race amalgamation. Here we have an example of a community which derives its origin from three races, and which is completely self-sustained, which rests its claim to exclusiveness on a feeling of social superiority and which presents all the essential marks of a separate ethnic and social group.

The study of this community has its bearing on such fundamental human phenomena as physical variation, tribal prerogative, clan consciousness, race sensibility and the sociological significance of exclusive property in folk-lore and belief.

Doctor Speck finds that the esoteric tendency which has set up barriers to protect the group against the action of outside influence is not inconsistent with a breadth of view which provides schools of a high standard and a liberal provision for the education of the youth. The moral tone of the community is approved by all observers and the general discipline is clearly of a high order.

Miss Gerda Sebbelov was appointed Assistant Curator of the Section of General Ethnology.

Dr. Edith H. Hall was appointed Assistant Curator of the Mediterranean Section.

The Maxwell Sommerville Collections have been rearranged during the year and put in order. A new exhibit of the Buddhist collection has been arranged and the objects nearly all placed under glass. The gem collection has received a general classification and is now exhibited with appropriate labels.

In the American Section, a number of new cases were installed during last summer and the old cases condensed. In this way, a large amount of additional exhibition space has been provided, but, at the same time, the overcrowding of some of the rooms must be apparent to everybody.

The installation of the new cases provided for an extended rearrangement of the collections in the American Section. One entire hall, next to the lecture room was devoted to the Heye Collection from the North Pacific Coast and a large part of the adjoining room to a collection of mystery packs of the American Indians.

Seven hundred and eighty-seven volumes have been added to the Museum Library by purchase and the collection of books has been further enlarged by the receipt of five hundred and sixty-five exchanges. Upwards of four hundred books were taken out by readers during the year.

The collections in the Museum continued to be used extensively by the classes in Anthropology and to a considerable extent also by the classes in other departments of the University, especially by classes in history and those in architecture. The classes from the School of Industrial Art also made use of the collections, on appointed after- noons, for practice in drawing and watercolor work.

At the beginning of the present school year, the Museum, in cooperation with the Department of Education in the City, sent out invitations to the number of about 4000 to the principals and teachers of the public schools, suggesting to them the advantages which might be afforded by the Museum for illustrating the subjects taught in the schools and for improving the methods of instruction.

On March 4th a reception was given at the Museum to Dr. Albert von Le Coq of Berlin.

On May 3d a reception was given at the Museum to Dr. Albert M. Lythgoe, of the Metropolitan Museum, and to Mrs. Lythgoe, who, at the time, were guests of the President.

On May 16th, a reception was given at the Museum to the members attending the Third National Conference on City Planning.

Cite This Article

"1911 Notes." The Museum Journal II, no. 4 (December, 1911): 95-97. Accessed February 21, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/journal/9666/

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