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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

George Eaton Simpson Photographs made in Haiti 1936-1937

George Eaton Simpson (1904-1998) was trained in sociology and anthropology at Coe College (A.B., 1926), the University of Missouri (A.M., 1927), and the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D., 1934). Simpson's research has largely focused on the religions of the Caribbean, including vodun in the Plaisance, Haiti, area.

The photographs made in Haiti during 1936-1937 (ca. 430 items with considerable duplication among the prints, negatives, and lantern slides) show houses, schools, public buildings, street scenes, people (peasants, religious figures, government officials), agriculture, fishing, coumleite (cooperative work groups), markets, food preparation, drummers, and dancers as well as religion. Most of the photographs were made at Plaisance but some were taken at Cap Hatien and other towns. The breadth of the subject matter seems to support Simpson's claims that he intended to avoid vodun as the main subject for research when he first went to Haiti. To view the catalog record click here.

--Stephanie Christensen, National Anthropological Archives

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