Often neglected in the history of the Folklore Movement, the history of the collecting of material things--as opposed to intangibles such as song, dance and dialects--can reveal alternative angles on the attitudes of early folklorists towards their subject. Collections history is currently the focus of much attention in Material Culture Studies, and it is vital that the development of folklore collections as a distinct category within this field is not overlooked. This paper will examine two collections now housed in British museums: the Mary Alicia Owen Collection of Mesquakie beadwork(1) and other ceremonial objects in the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (CUMAA), and the Margaret Hasluck collection of Balkan textiles and folklore in Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen. Both Hasluck and Owen were members of the Folklore Society (FLS), and Hasluck in particular, was a regular contributor to the Society's activities (Dawkins 1949, 291). Neither received formal anthropological training, although they were both university educated and, in contrast to many "armchair anthropologists" of the day, made extensive collections during fieldwork. Their collections are amongst the most substantial surviving collections of Balkan and Mesquakie material in British museums, and were made at either end of a period in which academic anthropology was splitting from folklore and attempting to assert itself as a separate discipline; as such, they represent ideas and opinions current in the study of other peoples at the time.(2)
In addition, these collections reveal much about collecting as a phenomenon and as a manifestation of imperialism. They highlight two aspects which have received relatively little attention in academic studies: the collection of material folklore; and the documentation of the lives of those whom Martin Lovelace has called "folklore's others," fieldworkers and collectors outside the London circle who dominated the FLS in its formative period (Lovelace 1996. Quoted Ashton 1997, 20).(3) Given the number of people gathering such material during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, much more collections research needs to be undertaken to fill the gaps left by writers who have concentrated on literary works and the group of London-based folklorists Richard Dorson called the "Great Team" (Dorson 1968a, 202). The collection of objects categorised as "ethnographic" by Westerners has a history that runs parallel with that of cross-cultural contact. Until relatively recently, however, the rationale behind the creation of these collections has received scant attention in museological literature. These objects are not in our museum stores by accident; they arrived through a series of exchanges involving shifting power relations and complex selection choices.
The period 1880-1925 saw an increase in cross-cultural interactions through overseas travel on the part of Europeans. Some people collected on their travels; others travelled primarily to collect. Many of the collections of anthropological and folkloric material now in museums such as CUMAA and Marischal Museum were formed during this time. Notions of exotic "otherness" must surely have exerted some influence on the selection of objects in these collections, although the extent to which collectors were aware of this is debatable. Ideas of cultural contrasts and similarities also affected those collectors who worked closer to home, and it is arguable that their preconceptions concerning the status and habits of their subjects were modified after prolonged contact.
Putting them into their contemporary context, I will discuss how the Owen and Hasluck collections were formed within the value-system placed upon them by their collectors. In an attempt to provide a balanced overview of the impulses behind the collecting process, I shall also consider the reactions of the people from whom they collected.
The doctrine of survivals espoused by E.B. Tylor was influential in both folkloric and anthropological circles in the last quarter of the nineteenth century when the FLS was founded. It was believed that the "irrational" beliefs and customs of the European peasantry were remnants of the culture of primitive man, and that by confirming the broad theory of evolutionary development, "survivals" could be used to illustrate the history of a race. Initially, folklore was held to include local customs, beliefs and tales, but not material culture (although until the mid-1960s the FLS maintained its own collection of artefacts). Folklorists who tended to emphasise the importance of objects generally seem to have been those with close contact with museums.
The Owen and Hasluck collections were both made during a period when interest in folklore amongst academics and urban middle class intellectuals was at its zenith. The study of folklore was part of a wider interest in scientific investigation generally; popular ethnography and interest in "exotica" was brought to a larger audience than ever before through museums, missionary exhibitions and popular journalism, and by increased contact through colonial trade (Schneider 1977). Academics with strong museum connections, particularly A.C. Haddon in Cambridge and Henry Balfour at the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford (both Presidents of the FLS during their careers), were at the forefront of this trend, making substantial western and non-western collections of their own and encouraging friends and colleagues to gather ethnographic specimens whilst abroad.
Conventional histories of the British folklore movement have identified trends in its development during the period under discussion: principally the con-trast between "peasants" at home and "savages" abroad (Dorson, 1968b). This attitude has been reflected in museum holdings in the United Kingdom. Interestingly, however, it is not so clear in many European museums, which have tend to categorise their anthropological collections as "ethnology." Opportunities for British folklorists to tap into new sources of "primitive" knowledge and to test Tylorian and Darwinian theories in "living laboratories" expanded with the growth of Empire (MacLeod and Rehbock 1994). Museums, particularly those associated with universities, found their collections rapidly increasing as their alumni donated vast numbers of artefacts collected during their time overseas. Meantime, in the United States collectors found suitable subjects on their doorstep, a situation recognised and utilised by institutional ethnographers, especially in large establishments such as the Smithsonian Institution and the California Academy of Sciences. Communication between colleagues in American and British establishments led to a sharing of anthropological knowledge and to the dispersal of ideas; and exhibitions and educational programmes played a vital role in shaping public perceptions of native peoples.
The work of the FLS and the expansion of museums in the nineteenth century give some indication of the popularity of collecting during the late Victorian era. It was regarded as a respectable pursuit and was felt to be particularly appropriate for gentlewomen with ample leisure time; it was considered to be educational, useful, and most importantly, safe. The appeal of the subject for women was demonstrated at the first International Folklore Congress held in London in 1891, where it was reported in the press that "ladies dominated the audience" (Dorson 1968a, 301). In order to learn more about local practices, folklorists would observe festivals and celebrations, within the constraints of the social codes of the period. Indeed, in many cases research simply involved asking domestic servants about local customs--a form of armchair anthropology. However, by the first decade of the twentieth century, folklore was becoming increasingly marginalised. Academic anthropology, on the other hand, became recognised as a legitimate subject, which was manifested by the establishment of university courses and departments, and by less indiscriminate collecting through museums.(4)
Mary Owen: Folklorist and Writer
Mary Alicia Owen's interests encompassed a broad range of sub-disciplines within folklore, including local dialects, folktales and customs. Unlike most of her contemporaries, who concentrated their efforts on collecting information such as statistics or "traditional" beliefs rather than objects, she recognised that material culture was integral to appreciating the societies she studied. Born in 1850 to an influential family in St Joseph, Missouri, in the United States, she was sent to Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, to complete her formal education, having first been taught at home by her mother. On returning to St Joseph she submitted articles concerning regional history, travel and folklore to local magazines, dropping her pen-name of "Julia Scott" when her work became accepted by more prominent journals such as The Century and Overland Magazine (Eberle 1977, 34).
It seems that her interest in folklore began early in childhood, when she is said to have been fascinated by the stories of her African-American "aunties" (ibid., 5).(5) She had been in contact with the Mesquakie since childhood, and often visited them on their reservation across the State border in Tama, Iowa. Her brother Herbert always accompanied her, as the visits were frowned upon by local people and her parents were uneasy about the reaction of "polite society" to their daughter's unconventional behaviour. Family legend holds that her breakthrough into the international folklore scene began after she began corresponding with the eminent folklorist Charles Leland, who suggested she publish her work on native Americans, voodooism end African-American culture. He also encouraged her to attend the 1891 International Folklore Congress, where she gave a well-received paper entitled "Missouri Negro Traditions" (The Times 6 October 1891). Respected in folklore circles, she was an honorary member of the FLS and President of the Missouri Folklore Society from 1908-35. She collected widely amongst the native peoples who lived on reservations close to her home. Her unique collection of Mesquakie artefacts was split between CUMAA and the Missouri State Museum; the larger part going to Cambridge in 1901 via the FLS.(6) This collection was thoroughly catalogued by Owen, and appears in her book, Folklore of the Musquakie Indians of North America, which concerns Mesquakie historical and religious beliefs, stories and pastimes, as well as thoroughly describing their material culture and its ceremonial associations. She was a prolific writer, and is said to have travelled as far as Cuba to collect data.(7) She never married, and died in St Joseph in 1935.
Margaret Hasluck: Anthropologist and Intelligence Agent
Margaret Masson Hardie was born on a farm in Drumblade, near Elgin in the Northeast of Scotland, in 1885, just when Mary Owen was at the height of her collecting activity. Having read Classics at Aberdeen and Cambridge universities, she moved to the British School in Athens, where her future husband, Frederick Hasluck, was Librarian (Lockhart 1949, 157).(8) They married in 1912, and until 1916, when his ill-health forced them to move to Switzerland, travelled extensively throughout the Near-East, Hasluck conducting his research into the interaction of Christianity and Islam with his wife's assistance.
After her husband's death in 1920, Margaret Hasluck edited and published her husband's manuscripts--Athos and its Monasteries (1924), Letters on Religion and Folklore (1926), and Christianity and Islam under the Sultans (1928-9). She then received two Wilson Travelling Fellowships from the Anthropological Museum of Aberdeen University for the years 1921-3 and 19268.(9) During this period she wrote several letters concerning her collecting to Professor R.W. Reid, the Curator of the Museum, and a number of Reports to the Trustees of the Wilson Fellowship. These provide delightful reading about her experiences on her travels and document how people reacted towards her. She returned to the Balkans as a Leverhulme Research Fellow (1935-7) to study social and religious customs, and eventually based herself in Elbasan, Albania, travelling constantly for the subsequent thirteen years. During the Second World War she moved to Cairo, having been expelled by the Italian Army, who Believed she was a British spy. This action, in fact, precipitated her into working for the Allies, and she maintained contact with Albanian exiles, tirelessly seeking to re-establish communications with the country for almost two years (Amery 1947, 48). Sadly, in Cairo she developed leukaemia, and so moved to Dublin to write The Unwritten Law in Albania. She died in 1948, her book being published posthumously. In addition to this important text, which is still used on university courses today, she published the definitive Albanian-English Grammar (1932) and numerous articles on the folklore of the Balkan peoples. Before her death she gave more of her collection to Marischal Museum, declaring: "I think often of how my treasures are housed in the Wilson Museum. I hope they give pleasure to the discerning few" (Hasluck to Prof. R.D. Lockhart [Curator], 5 May 1948).
Mechanics and Motivations of Collecting
Analysing the dynamics of collecting can reveal aspects of the cross-cultural experience that are not apparent from more conventional archival sources. This is particularly true if published commentaries by collectors are accompanied by anecdotal glimpses of contact provided in correspondence and the memories of family and acquaintances. Furthermore, collections research is essential as a means of broadening knowledge of the scientific development of anthropology. Collectors' attitudes towards the collections they created--be they for themselves, for institutions, or for both--can enlighten us to the role of material culture within folklore and anthropology, thus helping us appreciate some of the diverse viewpoints within both disciplines.
Microhistories of collections can most effectively begin with a consideration of the social and cultural milieux in which they were formed. An attempt to understand the motives of the collector, and the methods of collection they used, should follow. This can be problematic, as available documentary sources are often insufficient; but if we regard objects as documents in themselves, it is remarkable how much is revealed about collectors as individuals and about collecting as a cultural phenomenon.
Collections History is currently being revaluated, as analysts of material culture acknowledge that collecting is at least a two-way process. The failure to recognise this in earlier collecting theories seems to have resulted from a twin misconception: that the dynamics of collecting are self-evident; and that most ethnographic collecting in the past was conducted under terms of such inequality that native peoples were rendered powerless. Though the destructive effects of colonial contact cannot be denied, this view underestimates the influence native peoples were able to exercise over the collector. In his work on collecting in the Pacific, for example, Nicholas Thomas has shown that indigenous people were able to exert more control over the collecting process than has previously been acknowledged (Thomas 1991, chap. 3). This work has prompted collectors to analyse their own collecting agendas taking indigenous agency into account, and to raise issues surrounding meanings and the power of objects (Price and Price 1992). Such works not only broaden our understanding of how anthropological collections originated, but also enable us to revaluate the role of museums in an era where this is both a responsibility and a necessity as Fourth World peoples gain greater autonomy. Notions of order and control can clearly be seen in the methods some collectors use to gather their material, and in the ways it is interpreted once it becomes part of a larger collection. Additionally, indigenous perceptions of how object exchanges fit into their own systems of consumption need to be addressed for a fuller appreciation of collection formation (see, for example, Hugh-Jones 1991).
Indigenous input is recognisable in both the Owen and Hasluck collections, though it is probable that neither woman appreciated its extent. Both collections were very much shaped by the people the artefacts were collected from. This is most apparent in the descriptions of the transactions through which particular specimens were acquired. Owen and Hasluck were both conscious collectors, who knew exactly what they wanted, but accepted that they could not always get a particular item or its associated knowledge. This did not necessarily stop them from trying hard, but it appears that they were sympathetic enough not to cross the boundaries established by their subjects. Owen was perfectly aware that the Mesquakie were not averse to claiming ignorance when asked about the significance of certain objects or designs. This can be seen in her description of a headband with a "luck" pattern: "When asked if it were a society band, everyone pretended not to understand the question, both men and women said, `Luck band, luck band, bring heap good luck'" (Owen 1904, 111). Sometimes they simply could not, or would not, answer her questions, particularly as much of her follow-up work was conducted twenty-five years after her collection was made, so the combination of time and the intervening social upheaval had resulted in knowledge becoming diluted or lost altogether.(10)
Shopping, Swapping, Selling
Both Owen and Hasluck used barter to acquire objects or intangibles such as cultural information, and by offering items that were viewed by the Mesquakie or the Balkan peoples as useful, acceptable deals were made. It can be gleaned from Hasluck's and Owen's writings that they were the ones initiating the negotiations, rather than the transaction being suggested from within the communities. Barter within the collecting process requires more thorough study, as it was one of the most common methods early collectors used in their quest for artefacts. Examining the use of barter can show how native peoples could exert a significant amount of control over what collectors could acquire, mainly because if the collector did not offer a fair deal, the transaction would not take place. In the case of the Owen Collection, it is likely that some of the items she wanted, which were tribally rather than individually owned, were considered far too precious to part with. Describing a beaded belt said to recount tribal history, for example, and comparing it with other story belts, she writes, "It is not so interesting as the great belts that tell of the Iowas and Ojibways; but these cannot be bought, nor coaxed away with presents" (Owen 1904, 155). Clearly her bargaining position in this instance was very weak. Many other objects were exchanged only reluctantly. The informant also often had the upper hand in the accuracy of the information or the authenticity of the object exchanged.
It has been argued that barter is frequently a recurring feature of small-scale societies, and that it is rare for one-off transactions to occur (Humphrey 1991). However, this is not necessarily the case in the collecting context. The act of ethnographic collecting is usually an isolated occurrence; the collector initiating a number of direct proceedings in certain villages, perhaps whilst passing on to the next place.(11) This means that the mutual trust and fairness essential to regular trading partners is absent from the relationship between collector and subject. In fact, the very nature of field collecting dissuades repeated object exchanges, although information interchanges can continue for a distance over long time periods. However, the need to maintain high levels of honesty is not particularly important in cases where the collector and informer will never meet again. In consequence, it is hardly surprising that some information presented to collectors as truth was embellished in some way.
Margaret Hasluck discovered another of the negative effects of engaging in a barter relationship in her search for information:
To get accurate texts I once proclaimed that I had marbles
to give to industrious small boys who would write down
folktales for me. Unfortunately I had underrated the
Macedonian boys' passion for marbles, and to the utter
ruin of my peace a trail of children as long and eager as that
of the Pied Piper's beset my footsteps from dusk till dawn
until I fled the town (Hasluck ?1921, 2).
Although she was pestered by these children, who undoubtedly prized what she offered, the value of what she received in return was not diminished to the children themselves; they did not lose the information, they merely shared it. Hasluck got what she asked for in exchange for what to her, were just toys; valued in the sense that they could be used as currency, and not for the means for which they were manufactured. In consequence, this was a fair deal. Nowhere, however, does Hasluck say why she attempted to extract this information from children rather than from adults. Some people might question how accurate these texts were, given children's love of toys, and the prestige of owning what would have been a rare plaything indeed. But she clearly considered them to be reliable informants who could provide her with details which contain a refreshing honesty and perspectives not apparent to adults, though lacking an adult's depth of understanding.
As well as using barter, both women were also prepared to pay cash on occasion, especially for items or information that they had a strong desire to obtain. Reporting to her sponsors, Hasluck declared: "As a rule I don't pay for information, but I make an exception with witches. I have unearthed the most amazing collection of love-philtres, healing nostrums and blighting spells" (Hasluck ?1921, 1). Cash deals such as this also raise issues of trust and honesty, especially as more is at stake perhaps in these circumstances for the collector, who is parting with something considered valuable in his or her own society.(12) This is, of course, why Hasluck would pay cash only for information she desperately sought. A similar attitude is apparent in Owen's writing. Persons who clearly have money to exchange for artefacts are liable to be taken advantage of, and must be prepared to pay inflated prices for particular items if they deem them worth it. This is, of course, a factor in any exchange process, be it within small or large-scale societies.
A collector's willingness to pay what can seem to non-collectors to be excessive amounts raises questions concerning how value is apportioned to particular items or pieces of information by both sellers and buyers alike. Hence, collectors were more likely to make an offer for a piece if, in addition to being visually interesting, it was accompanied by a memorable anecdote. Objects are multivocal, and lively tales appeal to our imagination. Some of the descriptions in Owen's catalogue are rather lurid, and perhaps not wholly accurate. One such example is her "whistle to call ghosts":
This is an instrument accursed. In former times any man or
woman found possessing one was burned at the stake.
Whistling with the lips is dangerous and unlawful, for it
might attract the attention of a wandering ghost, but
whistling with this instrument is a shocking crime ... the
possessor of such a whistle is sure to be beaten if found
out (Owen 1904, 136).
It has been suggested that this particular item is, in fact, a moose call used by Great Lakes tribes (Ogland 1995, 67). Another perhaps more obvious example is her account of a "Treaty Belt of Glass Wampum passed from the Sacs to the Musquakies." She describes it as "as old as the affiliation of the tribes; but no-one puts a date on its manufacture," adding that it "resembles the ... more ancient belts of braided brown bark with a decoration of white shell wampum" (Owen 1904, 114). Ogland has suggested that the item is actually a European bell-pull, and subsequent researchers at CUMAA have agreed that this is a more likely identification.(13)
The meanings of objects are radically altered once they become part of a collection. The shifts between the perceptions of the original owners, the collectors, the curators and the audiences raise interesting questions concerning the authority and objectivity of items. The example of the wampum belt indicates that the status of objects changes when they become part of museum collections--it also indicates the controversies that can arise. For Owen, this item was Mesquakie for academic researchers, it is European. But of course it may be both: a European object appropriated by the Mesquakie or a tribal individual, for purposes of their own. Reading objects as a language reaffirms that interpreting them is a subjective business, characterised as much by the reader as by the read.(14) In the museum context, objects are frequently used to illustrate certain themes and viewpoints, and this has been particularly true of objects labelled "ethnographic" once they are "museumified." Indeed, whilst even for many anthropologists, museums connote dusty and dead remnants of past worlds, the converse is true. Objects can, and do speak: but arranging them so that this is possible, allowing them to be read, poses deeper questions of power and authority.
The personal meanings of the collections made by these women also tell stories about the way they related to the material world around them. Hasluck, for example, clearly used some of the items she collected to illustrate her evolutionary concepts. Concerning a cradle she secured for the Museum, she writes: "Do you see how rudimentary the bow on the child's awning is? Not nearly so developed as in the Shala specimen" (M.M. Hasluck to Prof. R.D. Lockhart, 23 May 1934). She would also use objects as prompts to get more information. She showed elderly women plant specimens she had gathered for the Botanical Laboratory at Aberdeen University, and would ask them for related "old wives' remedies" (M.M. Hasluck, 11 August 1922, 5). Likewise, Owen used her collection to illustrate her findings on the Mesquakies' ceremonial life, indicating that, for her, the objects were secondary to the information they represented. She appears to have been especially interested in how cultural contact affects native groups, as this comment on a breech-clout shows: "Sold by its former owner, a proof that environment affects even a Musquakie. A decade ago a man would have parted with his scalp-lock almost as readily as with this article of his attire" (Owen 1904, 126).
Individual objects tell many stories, and so do items brought together to form a collection. Owen and Hasluck clearly thought a great deal about how they interacted with the items they gathered. Hasluck's collecting could be considered "systematic" in Susan Pearce's tripartite terminology of "systematic," "fetishistic," and "souvenir" (Pearce 1992). Many Victorian collections of natural history, and by historic extension ethnography, could be described as systematic, as they aimed to collect the world, regarding the possibility of viewing it in miniature as an attainable goal achieved by "filling gaps" in the collection.(15) Initially, Hasluck used objects in this sense, as illustrative aids.
However, once she stopped actively collecting, the objects acquired new meanings as "souvenirs" (ibid., 69). Leaving Albania forced her to abandon many of her possessions; consequently those objects she salvaged assumed new status as objectified memories, symbolising her past. Knowing that the post-war situation and her ill-health prevented her return, the material objects became treasured links with the country. This transformation of meaning is poignantly clear in correspondence regarding a final donation:
I should prefer not to send them at once in case I may be
able to have them around me once again. If Switzerland
does not revive me, they would be at the Museum's
disposal in a comparatively short time (M.M. Hasluck to
Prof. R.D. Lockhart, 10 May 1948).
Conversely, Owen seems to have had less emotional attachment to her collection, regarding it merely as one manifestation of her work. Many of her comments concerning her objects and her collecting, both within her catalogue and elsewhere, indicate that she considered her research to be a form of salvage ethnography--in a sense, a duty. In her view, the poverty of the Mesquakie people was a justification for her removing the items, as many of them undoubtedly would have been eventually sold anyway. She would have argued that they were far safer in her hands and ultimately in the hands of a museum. As such, she cultivated a sincere disrespect for government officials who got in her way:
I had much trouble getting my collections. We were always
dodging those white idiots the government sent out. They
seemed to think dancing was devil worship. Folklore and
ethnology had not made much headway then (Thompson
It was quite possibly her mistaken belief, albeit a popular one, that the Mesquakie were dying out as a result of the government's assimilationist policies that encouraged her to donate the collection to the museum in Cambridge. She saw it as a means of transmitting knowledge, an educational tool. Her decision to give it to an institution where she knew there were staff sympathetic to the study of folklore demonstrates her recognition of the collection's research potential. A further comment suggests that although she clearly believed material culture could enlighten audiences, her personal views on how information could be extracted from objects conflict with her public sentiments:
I do hate catalogues! ... The fact is, I know my subject and
my objects, too well. I can't help taking the knowledge of
things primitive for granted. People should tell what they
know as soon as they learn it (Owen to E.S. Hartland, 18
However, according to the author of her obituary, she felt that, by placing the collection in a museum in the United Kingdom, she would be doing something worthwhile, "as Indian relics are of more interest to the general public of England than they are in this country [the United States]" (St Joseph Gazette 6 January 1935). If this comment is justified, it illustrates the state of native white relations in the United States during this period and the ways in which aboriginal peoples were perceived in Britain.
Observations such as these not only illustrate that the Owen and Hasluck collections are imbued with a definite sense of purpose, but also confirm the impression that ideas about how objects work have long been on collectors' agendas.
The aim of this paper has been to address some of the themes surrounding how historic ethnographic collections were formed. Many issues could not be addressed within its limitations. However, future research will attempt to tackle questions of gendered collecting and the effects of the exhibition of cultures on these cultures themselves, and upon other groups, within a historical and social perspective, in addition to analysing further the actual point of exchange. The ramifications for such study are intense within the museum world, as an examination of the mind-set within which collections originate can be applied to current debates about possession and ownership, access to cultural property, and notions of exchange systems. Understanding historical attitudes enables us to comprehend contemporary debates regarding representation and usage of museum collections. Consequently, collection studies as a branch of historical anthropology and the history of ideas, is not just a vehicle for cross-cultural interactions historically, but also has implications for current relationships.
Linacre College, Oxford University
I am indebted to the assistance of Charles Hunt and Anita Herle for allowing me access to the Hasluck and Owen Collections. I would also particularly like to thank Margaret Woodward, who willingly shared with me her memories of her Aunt Margaret. The comments and suggestions made by the Editor of Folklore and two referees have greatly improved an earlier version of this paper. The remaining errors are mine alone. Some of the material concerning Mary Owen used in this article was published in a different form in my paper, "The Mary Alicia Owen Collection of Mesquakie Beadwork in Cambridge," in the Journal of Museum Ethnography 9 (1997):115-30.
(1) The Mesquakie of Iowa are more commonly known in English as the Fox, or Sauk and Fox. They call themselves the Meskwahki (pronounced Mesh Qua Kee Uhk), which means "Red Earths" (Torrence 1989, 27). Various other spellings have been cited over the years, for example, Mary Owen spelt the name "Musquakie."
(2) It should be noted that, while both these collections were considered to be of "folklore" by their makers, they are today regarded in the museum context as overlapping into the discipline of anthropology. Both terms result from Western appropriation of the material, and neither would have been used by the peoples from whom the objects originated. Comparable collections of Mesquakie material include the M.R. Harrington Collection at the National Museum of the American Indian (formerly the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation) New York, and the Milford Chandler Collection in the Detroit Institute of Arts. The Edith Durham Collection in the Bankfield Museum, England, contains material collected in the Balkans during the decade prior to Margaret Hasluck's travels.
(3) I am grateful to Gillian Bennett for suggesting addressing these collectors in this way.
(4) For example, the Jesup North Pacific Expedition (18971901) organised by the American Museum of Natural History and the Cambridge University Expedition to the Torres Straits led by A.C. Haddon in 1898.
(5) Owen's first book, Old Rabbit the Voodoo and Other Sorcerers (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1893), is based upon these tales.
(6) The collection in Missouri was donated in 1931 (Thompson 1931, 9). The collection in CUMAA was exhibited at a joint meeting of the Folklore Society and the Royal Anthropological Institute in the rooms of the latter on 19 June 1901, prior to being placed on deposit by the FLS (Minutes of the Folk-Lore Society 1901). It became CUMAA property in 1977.
(7) Mary Elizabeth Allcorn has suggested that Owen studied voodoo in Cuba and prepared a volume for publication, later burning the manuscript as she was uneasy about the contents becoming public (Allcorn 1989).
(8) F.W. Hasluck, Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge, collected a number of folkloric items in Southern Europe and India. These are now in CUMAA as part of the Ridgeway Bequest (1926).
(9) Earlier names for Marischal Museum are simply the Anthropological Museum and the Wilson Museum. Hasluck collected specifically for the Museum whilst a Wilson Fellow, gathering approximately one hundred folklore items. She also bequeathed her personal collection of Balkan embroideries and other objects. Her field photographs are with the Royal Geographical Society.
(10) There is correspondence in the Cambridge University Library between Haddon, then Reader in Ethnology at Cambridge, and Owen prior to the publication of her book, in which he asks her to ask the Mesquakie for more information, with varying results.
(11) The action of collecting ethnographic artefacts is changing, as professional anthropologists now often return to where they did their initial fieldwork to make new collections illustrating themes of continuity and change (see for example, O'Hanlon 1993). Early collectors rarely had the opportunity to make repeat visits, although there are exceptions, most notably Haddon, and the German-born American anthropologist and curator, Franz Boas, who worked close enough to home to make frequent trips were less problematic. Boas worked with the people of the northwest coast of Canada, particularly the Kwakwaka'wakw, and as he was based in New York was able to maintain thorough contact with his informants. Generally speaking, however, collectors were opportunists, initiating exchanges and accepting others as word got round that they were potential business partners.
(12) It was rare for field collectors to be flush with money, although they may have carried a large number of trade goods. The use of money in a collecting perspective was, of course, only possible in societies which placed a value on notes and coins, which was the case in both case studies discussed in this paper.
(13) The regular length of the beads and the brass bell decorations, in addition to the design itself, have been used as evidence of the belt's European origin.
(14) I am indebted to Professor Roger Cardinal for his comments on the notion of objects as "poetry" made in his keynote speech at the Collections and Innovations Conference, Horniman Museum and Gardens London, 25 March 1997.
(15) Although ethnographic collections were considered to be extensions of natural history collections in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, this is certainly not the case today. Anthropoloical collections nowadays tend to be categorised along with Human or Cultural History Collections.
(16) Edwin Sidney Hartland edited Owen's book.
Amery, J. Sons of the Eagle: A Study in Guerilla War. London: Macmillan, 1948.
Anon. Bread, Salt and Our Hearts. Booklet to accompany exhibition of the same name at Bankfield Museum, Calderdale Council, 1996.
Allcorn, M.E. "Mary Alicia Owen." In Show Me Missouri Women: Selected Biographies, ed. M.K. Dains. 132-4. Kirksville, Missouri: Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1989.
Ashton, John. "Beyond Survivalism: Regional Folkloristics in Late-Victorian England." Folklore 108 (1997):19-24.
Dawkins, R.M. "Obituary: Margaret Masson Hasluck." Folklore 60 (1949):291-2.
Dorson, R.M. The British Folklorists: A History. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1968. (1968a)
--. Peasant Customs and Savage Myths. 2 vols. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1968. (1968b)
Eberle, J.F. The Incredible Owen Girls. St Louis: Boar's Head Press, 1977.
Hasluck, F.S. Athos and its Monasteries. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd, 1924.
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