National Anthropological Archives and Human Studies Film Archives


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Guide to the Collections
of the Human Studies Film Archives

Caribbean

CB-77.1.2: [Life In a Haitian Valley Film Study, 1934]
1934; 1,400 ft (52 min) silent b&w; film/video; supplementary
materials: 1
Footage shot during a three-month field study in the valley and
village of Mirebalais, central Haiti. Documentation of Haitian
culture includes various subsistence and craft activities
(hoeing, planting, marketing, and rope making); a combite or
communal work group (known elsewhere in Haiti as the Societe
Congo) clearing a field; the heading, "dressing," and
consecration of an ensemble of rada drums by a pret savanne (bush
priest); sequences from a Vodun ceremony including a rada altar
with chromolithographs and the action de grace (preliminary
segment) of the ritual; and short sequences of social dance
styles, including a banda, Congo, and Martinique, performed for
the camera.
Creator: Melville J. Herskovits, anthropologist (1895-1963)

CB-86.2.1: RASTAFARI VOICES
1978; 2,072 ft sound color; film; supplementary materials: 1
Edited film documenting selected aspects of Biblically-inspired
religious discourse, ritual, and music among the Rastafari of
Jamaica. Emphasis is given to belief and practice among members
of the Nyabinghi Order, the most fundamentalist sect of the Rasta
movement. Film depicts instances of prayer, communal discourse
known as "reasoning" which is accompanied by the sacramental use
of ganja (marijuana), and a Nyabinghi celebration which was held
to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the birthday of Marcus
Garvey. Interview footage provides some insights into the
generational diversity and absence of orthodoxy within the
movement.
Creator: Eliott Leib, anthropology graduate student
Creator: Renee Romano, anthropology graduate student

CB-86.2.2: [RASTAFARI: CONVERSATIONS CONCERNING WOMEN Video
Project, 1983]
1983; 12 hrs sound color; video
Full video record concerning women's position in Jamaican society
and the Rastafari movement. Included are interviews with women in
the movement from different generational and social backgrounds.
Creator: Eliott Leib, anthropology graduate student
Creator: Renee Romano, anthropology graduate student

CB-86.2.3: RASTAFARI: CONVERSATIONS CONCERNING WOMAN*
1985; 59 min sound color; video
Edited film produced by Eye In I Filmworks explores black women's
situation in Jamaica and the Rastafari woman's self-image through
numerous interviews. See also [RASTAFARI: CONVERSATIONS
CONCERNING WOMEN Video Project, 1983].
Creator: Eliott Leib, anthropology graduate student
Creator: Renee Romano, anthropology graduate student

CB-87.9.1: [Laura Boulton Film Collection: Haiti, c. 1946]
c. 1946; 330 ft (10 min) silent color; video; supplementary
materials: 1
Footage of folkloric Haitian dances. Featured are traditional
instruments played as accompaniment to traditional dances
performed by local residents. Laura Boulton is shown making sound
recordings.
Creator: Laura Boulton, musicologist (1899-1980)

CB-88.16.10: A TRIP TO THE LEEWARD ISLANDS
c. 1918; 80 ft silent b&w; film
Edited film distributed by Paramount-Bray depicts scenes in the
Leeward Island of Dominica, British West Indies. Footage includes
Roseau, the captial city; Roseau market; market women; women
washing clothes in the river; and men and women dancing to
rhythms of a barrel drum along the roadside.

CB-89.8.1: [Afro-Jamaican Traditions: Ettu, Kumina, Kromanti,
Rastafari, and Mento, 1989]
1989; 4 hrs 37 min sound color; video
Full video record shot for the Smithsonian Folklife Program in
Jamaica. Video records aspects of the foodways, music, and dance
of various Afro-Jamaican groups preparatory to their
participation in the 1989 Folklife Festival. Included are an Ettu
(Yoruba/Nago) group in western Jamaica; Kumina drumming and kongo
(dance) in St. Catherine featuring Imogene Kennedy, a renown
Kumina "Queen"; Kromanti foodways, dance, and drumming of the
Moore Town Maroons (Portland); chants and drumming by Rastafari
of the Nyabinghi order; and music of a popular mento group.
Creator: John Homiak, anthropologist (1947- )

CB-89.22.8: TRADING THE SUN*
1981; 754 ft sound color; film
Edited film from the BBC Television series, "One World," explores
economic improvement on the Island of St. Lucia. Film briefly
follows the paths of two hotel employees.

CB-89.22.9: FROM THE CARIBBEAN*
1981; 774 ft sound color; film
Edited film, from the BBC Television series, "One World," covers
the importance of the banana harvest on the Island of St. Lucia.
Included is a look at the St. Mark family and how the banana
industry affects their lives.

CB-89.22.10: PEOPLE ON THE MOVE*
1981; 775 ft sound color; film
Edited film from the BBC Television series, "One World," follows
the path of the Richards family from their origins in rural
Jamaica to success and failure in Kingston and eventually to
Britain.

CB-89.22.11: MADE IN BARBADOS*
1981; 756 ft sound color; film
Edited film from the BBC Television series, "One World,"
documents the lives of factory workers forced to leave the sugar
cane fields due to widespread mechanization of sugar cane
harvesting. Narration discusses factory growth, importation and
exportation of goods, and profit distribution on the island.

CB-90.1.1: FIRE AND STEEL*
1986; 17 min sound color; video
Edited film produced for National Geographic Society Explorer
Television series explores the roll of steel drums in Trinidadian
life. The footage shows making of steel drums from old oil
barrels, a tuner "tuning" a drum, and painting of drums.
Highlighted is a yearly steel festival in which a well-known
steel orchestra, the Desperados from Lavantio, compete and win.
Creator: Ann Derry, film producer (1954- )

CB-90.1.5: HAITIAN VOODOO*
1985; 11 min sound color; video
Edited film produced for National Geographic Society Explorer
Television series examins the nature of Voodoo through the yearly
Festival of Our Lady of Mount Carmel held at a sacred waterfall
outside Ville Bonne Heure, Haiti. Photographer Carol de Villers
is interviewed concerning the practice of Voodoo and is shown
photographing the pilgrims. Pilgrims are shown praying and making
offerings to the spirits at different stations on the way to the
waterfalls, cleansing themselves in the falls, and attending
mass.
Creator: John Lipscomb, film producer (1926- )

CB-90.3.1: [E.C. Higbee Travel Footage of the British West
Indies, 1925]
1925; 1,527 ft (55 min) silent b&w; video
Footage records travels to various Caribbean locations including
Cuba, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Trinidad, Venezuela, and Panama. Shots
include landscapes and street scenes in Havana, Kingston, Port-
of-Spain, Caracas, and the Panama Canal. Urban and rural shots of
interest include market scenes with higglers, shanty life,
cockfights, a fife-and-drum band with stiltwaker in a Jonkonnu
celebration, Moro Castle (Havana), rafting on the Rio Cobre River
(Jamaica), and East Indian marketwomen (Trinidad).
Creator: Edwin Converse Higbee (1897-1977)

CB-90.3.3: HAITI, JAMAICA, NASSAU, AND CURACAO
c. 1920s; 495 ft (14 min) silent b&w; video
Edited film shot for the Cunard Steam Ship Company and
distributed by Kodak Cinegraph Films. Captured are brief
vignettes of Haiti, Jamaica, Nassau, the Panama Canal Zone,
Havana, Algiers (Algeria), and Madiera (Portugal). Included are
market scenes in Port-au-Prince; the Myrtle Bank Hotel (Jamaica);
operation of the locks on the Panama Canal; Moro Castle in
Havana; and the French and Arab Quarters with market scenes in
Algiers.

CB-91.1.1: [Hail Mother Kali: Indo-Guyanese Video Project, 1988]
1988; 24 hrs sound color; video
Full video record of an annual three-day Kalimai (Mother Kali)
puja held in Berbice, Guyana. Footage documents various aspects
of the worship of the Hindu Mother which was brought to Guyana by
predominatly south Indian indentured laborers (known as Madrasi)
from the mid 19th to early 20th century. In contemporary Guyana
this Creolized tradition continues to be known as Madrasi
religion. Documentation features invocatory chants sung in Tamil
and bhajans (devotional songs) and kathas (stories) in Hindi and
English. Included are interviews with the pujaris (principal
ritual specialists) who direct the event; preparations in the
temple; and drumming, dancing, and chanting which leads to
devotional possession of various participants. The video also
depicts the religious sacrifice of goats and the ritual
flagellation of and fire-eating by devotees and includes an
ethnohistory of the pujari who helped establish the Mother Kali
tradition in Guyana.
Creator: Stephanos Stephanides, filmmaker

CB-91.11.1: [Indo-Jamaican Video Project, 1991]
1991; 3 hrs sound color; video
Full video record created in association with a Smithsonian
Research expedition to record the festival traditions of East
Indians in Jamaica. Documentation focuses on creolized East
Indian music, dance, and ritual. Video includes: a group of male
age-mates performing bhajan music (an ensemble of dhole,
accordian, cymbals, and sarangee); a jonglia dance accompanied by
biraha music with drumming on the tamden negurchi and negaru
drums; scenes in a Hossay yard with a demonstration of the Hossay
drums; a communal gathering known as a setsangh; and a healing
rite for an infirm Indian elder. Also included is documentation
of an annual Holi or pagwah ceremony held in west Kingston which,
in Jamaica, is associated with fertility and the renewal of
social relationships.
Creator: John Homiak, anthropologist (1947- )

CB-91.12.1/93.15.1: CAPITAL OF EARTH: THE MAROONS OF MOORE TOWN
1979; 1,440 ft (40 min) sound color; video
Edited film shot in eastern Jamaica among the descendants of
escaped African slaves who formed rebel communities in the Blue
Mountains. Depicted are aspects of Maroon culture including
communal labor (with digging songs), Kromanti drumming and
healing rights, and cultivation and marketing of agricultural
produce.
Creator: Kenneth Bilby, anthropologist
Creator: Jefferson Miller, documentary filmmaker

CB-91.12.2: CAPITAL OF EARTH: THE MAROONS OF MOORE TOWN
(outtakes)
1979; 7,600 ft sound color
Outtakes from a film project shot in eastern Jamaica among the
descendants of escaped African slaves who formed rebel
communities in the Blue Mountains. Documented are aspects of
Maroon culture including communal labor (with digging songs),
Kromanti drumming and healing rights, and cultivation and
marketing of agricultural produce.
Creator: Kenneth Bilby, anthropologist
Creator: Jefferson Miller, documentary filmmaker

CB-92.1.1: [Joseph G. Moore Collection: Jamaican Revival and
Kumina, 1957-1958]
1957-1958; 19,131 ft silent b&w; video; supplementary materials:
1,3,4,6
Outtakes are from an episode of the CBS Television series "A Lamp
Unto My Feet." Footage was shot in conjunction with
anthropologists Joseph G. Moore and George E. Simpson and Mrs.
Ruth Moore in west Kingston, Jamaica, and in rural sites in and
around Morant Bay, eastern Jamaica. Documentation shot in Trench
Town, west Kingston, features scenes of various services in the
Revival church of Malachi "Kapo" Reynolds, a well known Revival
leader during the 1950s and 1960s. Documented are singing,
dancing, sermonizing, trumping (onset to possession), and
possession. Footage shot in the Morant Bay area includes similar
scenes from a rural Revival service including the "breaking of a
table" and "travelling" in the open Revival yard. Kumina footage
includes preparations of a dancing booth for a "black and white"
ceremony and a "tombing." This visual documentation reveals the
close relationship between Revival and Kumina in rural Jamaica
during this period. Also included are market scenes in Morant Bay
and street scenes in various parts of Kingston.

CB-92.9.2: TO SERVE THE GODS (outtakes)
1982; 5,400 ft sound color
Outtakes from the edited film, TO SERVE THE GODS, document a
sevis loua, a week-long ceremony given in honor of a family's
ancestral spirits which only happens every twenty to thirty
years. Filmed in a rural community in southern Haiti, the footage
records dance, song, drumming, possession, animal sacrifice, and
sharing of food with family, neighbors, friends, and the gods.
Filming project is based on the research of anthropologist Ira
Lowenthal and his paper, "Ritual Performances and Religious
Experience: A Service for the Gods in Southern Haiti."
Creator: Karen Kramer, documentary filmmaker

CB-92.9.3: HAITIAN SONG (outtakes)
1982; 8,500 ft sound color
Outtakes from the edited film, HAITIAN SONG, document a week--
Monday through Sunday--in the life of Gustav and Zilmen, male and
female inhabitants of a small village in rural Haiti. The footage
shows typical daily and weekly activities such as the market,
getting water from the river, making sisal rope by hand, cooking
beans and rice outdoors, planting and harvesting, cockfight, and
Sunday night dance.
Creator: Karen Kramer, documentary filmmaker

CB-92.9.6: MOKO JUMBIE (outtakes)
c. 1970; 3,000 ft sound color
Outtakes from the edited film, MOKO JUMBIE, documents the art,
craft, dance, and history of moko jumbie (dancing spirit)--twelve
foot high stilt walkers. Moko jumbies are shown at street
festivals in New York City, at Carnival in the Virgin Islands,
and in religious ceremonies in Nigeria.
Creator: Karen Kramer, documentary filmmaker

CB-92.12.1: [George Eaton Simpson Film Study of Plaisance, Haiti,
1937]
1937; 451 ft (18 min) silent b&w; video; supplementary materials:
1
Footage shot in Plaisance, northern Haiti in conjunction with
fieldwork. Shots include: a communal work group or combite
organized to weed a field and construct a peasant house; a
funeral procession; a social gathering (with musical ensemble,
drumming, and dancing) at a peasant house; a wedding procession;
various demonstrations of dance styles by men; and a
demonstration of baton twirling typical of the major donc in rara
festivities.
Creator: George Eaton Simpson, anthropologist (1904- )

CB-93.3.1: [Travel Footage of Puerto Rico, c. 1929]
c. 1929; 379 ft (15 min) silent b&w; video
Footage filmed of tourist activities in Puerto Rico. Included
are: street scenes, gardens, costal scenes, resort hotel and
pool, street vendors, cemetary, beach and diving tower in water,
and scenery.

CB-93.8.1: [Afro-Caribbean Dance Traditions: Cuba, Haiti, and
Brazil, 1986-1992]
1986-1992; 35 hrs 44 min sound color; video
Full video record of Afro-Caribbean dance performances in Cuba,
Haiti, and Brazil. Cuban dance focuses on traditional Cuban rumba
including professional, traditional, and general public rumba as
well as rumba performed by two National Cuban Ballet Companies,
the National Cuban Modern Dance Company (Danza Nacional), and
three National Folkloric Companies (Conjunto Folklorico,
Folklorico de Oriente, and Cutumba). Haitian heritage in Cuba and
influences in the Caribbean are also documented in Tumba Francesa
from the eighteenth century and Gaga from the twentieth century.
Afro-Caribbean religious materials are highlighted first in dance
traditions but also in ritual behavior: Yoruba-derived, Palo,
Abakua, Arara, and Vodun in Cuba; Rada and Congo rites in Haitian
Vodun (including installation of mambos and an annual celebration
at Sucrie de Nasch); and Bahian versions of Candomble. There are
a few segments of contemporary popular dance including comparsas
and carnival examples.
Creator: Yvonne Payne Daniel, anthropologist (1940- )

CB-94.4.1: AN ISLAND IN AMERICA*
c. 1965; 30 min sound color; video
Edited film produced for the Anti Defamation League of B'nai
Brith in cooperation with the Philadelphia School District
presents problems faced by Puerto Rican immigrants in mainland
cities including inadequate housing, lack of jobs, language
barriers especially in school, and racial and religious
discrimination. Film also includes interviews with former New
York Board of Education president Joseph Monserrat, student Ramon
Arbon, and New York Congressman Herman Badillo and a history of
Puerto Rico and relations with the United States.
Creator: David Sawyer, film producer

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