Marius Barbeau Chez Les Evolutionnistes (1907-1914): Elements Contextuels Pour Une Meilleure Comprehension De L'histoire Canadienne De L'ethnologie et Du Folklore

By Gadbois, Jocelyn | Ethnologies, Spring 2013 | Go to article overview

Marius Barbeau Chez Les Evolutionnistes (1907-1914): Elements Contextuels Pour Une Meilleure Comprehension De L'histoire Canadienne De L'ethnologie et Du Folklore


Gadbois, Jocelyn, Ethnologies


Cet article propose un retour historiographique sur la formation qu'a recue Marius Barbeau aupres des evolutionnistes britanniques et des intellectuels francais entre 1907 et 1914. Cet episode biographique semblait rendre plusieurs ethnologues issus de l'ecole des Archives de folklore de l'Universite Laval mal a l'aise, comme si ces derniers peinaient a assumer completement leur passe disciplinaire. Pour soulever le voile de mysteres, l'auteur propose de relire l'enseignement que Barbeau a recu a Oxford et les liens qu'il a entretenus avec Marcel Mauss grace notamment aux memoires de son directeur de these, Robert Ranulph Marett, et celles de son collegue Wilson Dallam Wallis. Ce retour, reflexif, a permis a l'auteur de degager des elements de comprehension des influences de Barbeau, et par extension de l'ecole des Archives de folklore, ainsi que de reflechir a leur projet interpretatif commun, c'est-a-dire reussir a mettre a distance la foi chretienne pour comprendre le proche.

This paper proposes a historiographical outlook on the training on Marius Barbeau with the British evolutionists and the French intellectuals between 1907 and 1914. This biographical episode has apparently brought discomfort for several ethnologists from the Folklore Archives school at Laval University, as if they were struggling to fully accept the history of their discipline. To unveil the mysteries surrounding this episode, the author proposes to analyze the teaching that Barbeau received at Oxford and the links he had with Marcel Mauss, thanks to the memoirs of his supervisor Robert Ranulph Marett, and those of his colleague Wilson Dallam Wallis. This reflexive exercise allows the author to identify elements for the understanding of Barbeau's influences and, by extension, of the school of the Folklore Archives school, as well as for a reflection on their common interpretive project: a distancing from Christian faith in order to better understand the local.

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Meme si Marius Barbeau demeure, selon Laurence Nowry, l'anthropologue le plus connu de l'histoire canadienne (1995), un voile de mysteres enveloppe encore son oeuvre. C'est du moins ce qu'a reussi a demontrer le collectif A round and About Marius Barbeau: Modelling Twentieth' Century Culture dirige par Lynda Jessup, Andrew Nurse et Gordon E. Smith. En replacant le projet interpretatif de Barbeau dans son contexte historique, les auteurs ont traite d'une toute nouvelle maniere sa contribution a l'avancement des connaissances, specifiquement en ce qui a trait a l'art et a la musique traditionnelle. Cette nouvelle perspective ne vise pas a chercher a valoriser le travail de Barbeau, mais a le mettre plutot a distance pour en saisir sa substance. C'est par exemple ce qu'a voulu mettre de l'avant Andrew Nurse lorsqu'il a rappele que le travail (d'administrateur colonial) de Barbeau au musee national aurait en fait ete de representer l'autorite de l'anthropologie pour pouvoir parler a la place des enquetes, en l'occurrence a la place des Amerindiens et des Canadiens francais (2008).

Les critiques exposees dans l'ouvrage dirige par Jessup et al. obligent toutes les ecoles qui se reclament heritieres de son oeuvre a revoir leur maniere de comprendre leur filiation disciplinaire. Ceci devrait specialement etre le cas de l'ecole des Archives de folklore de l'Universite Laval (1), ou Barbeau est vu et enseigne comme l'un des peres fondateurs. A ce chapitre, la contribution de Frances M. Slaney, professeure associee au departement de sociologie et d'anthropologie de Carleton University, chavire l'image romantique du << pionnier du folklore >>. Elle reussit ce tour de force en traitant de la formation de Barbeau a Oxford, de ses passages a Paris et de l'influence que ces enseignements ont eue sur ses representations de l'art. Slaney releve ainsi l'influence des theories evolutionnistes de l'oeuvre de Marius Barbeau.

La demonstration de Slaney secoue le lecteur issu de l'ecole des Archives de l'Universite Laval. …

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