Newsletter of the J.P. Harrington Conference Number 1

Newsletter of the J.P. Harrington Conference

Number 1: November 1991

A working conference on the linguistic and ethnographic papers of John P. Harrington is scheduled to be held at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on June 25-26, 1992, immediately preceding the 1992 Hokan-Penutian Workshop. The organizers are Victor Golla , John Johnson, and Marianne Mithun. All interested individuals are invited to participate. For further information, contact: Victor Golla, Dept. of Ethnic Studies, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521; John Johnson, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta Del Sol Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105; or Marianne Mithun, Dept. of Linguistics, UC-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106.


We have so far received responses from 42 potential participants, listed below. Only seven (those marked with an asterisk) have said that they will probably not be able to attend the conference:
Alice AndertonAnthony P. GrantMichael J. P. Nichols
Lowell J. BeanArthur E. Harrington*Bruce Nevin
*Stephen D. BeckhamKenneth HillBev Ortiz
Howard BermanLeanne HintonRobert Oswalt
*Thomas BlackburnJohn JohnsonMarsha Peralta
*Barbara BocekDale KinkadeWilliam Poser
*William BrightJulian LangRobert L. Rankin
Gene BuckleyMargaret Langdon *David L. Shaul
Catherine CallaghanL. Frank ManriquezJan Timbrook
Scott DillardJack MarrKatherine Turner
Eric ElliottErnestine McGovranSiri Tuttle
Geoff GambleSally McLendonLaurel Watkins
Ives Goddard*Elaine MillsDonald Whereat
Victor GollaMarianne MithunLinda Yamane


The organizers will meet in mid-December to plan the structure of the Conference. Responses from intending participants (see Correspondence below) indicate a preference for a meeting focused on at least some of the themes that were suggested in the first announcement of the Conference:

The organizers will decide on the session topics at their December meeting and will then solicit specific commitments for short papers and/or other presentations in a 2nd Newsletter early next year. In the meantime, further suggestions for topics or presentations are most welcome, and may be sent to any of the organizers.

NEWS: Parker McKenzie Receives Honorary Degree

Parker McKenzie, 94, Harrington's co-worker on Kiowa from 1918 onward, was made an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Colorado at its commencement last summer for his accomplishments as "citizen-scholar, tribal elder, historian, and respected authority on the language of the Kiowa." Laurel Watkins has described McKenzie's work in her A Grammar of Kiowa (1984), p. 3-4:

Mr. McKenzie was born in 1897 near Rainy Mountain (sépyàldà) and spoke no English until he began attending school at about the age of eight. In 1918 he was a part-time informant for Harrington, who was in Oklahoma for the summer gathering data for the Vocabulary of the Kiowa Language [subsequently published as BAE Bulletin 84: 1-255, 1928]. That early exposure to a linguistic perspective awakened in Mr. McKenzie an abiding interest in the analysis and preservation of the Kiowa language. It is only through his interest and perseverence that certain data are available, in particular texts transcribed in the 1940s from older respected speakers....In addition, Mr. McKenzie has through the years kept written records of words now rarely used and has maintained a sensitive ear to the styles and variations of Kiowa speech.

In 1948, Harrington and McKenzie published a Popular Account of the Kiowa Indian Language (Monographs of the School of American Research 12), using a phonetic alphabet devised by McKenzie. In recent years Parker McKenzie has worked closely with Laurel Watkins, a collaboration that is noted on the title page of her 1984 grammar.

Because of his advanced age, Parker McKenzie will be unable to attend the Harrington Conference next June. However, plans are under way for Laurel Watkins to present some of what he has written about his work with Harrington.


* Howard Berman, 5521 16th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98105 (8/12/91):

Harrington is an excellent topic for a conference....The one topic I would like to suggest that you haven't covered is how can the microfilms and the catalogs (or Guides) be made more easily accessible to scholars. I have tried to request both particular microfilms and particular volumes of the catalogues through interlibrary loan and I have waited for months on end and they just don't come. Could we develop a more workable system for sharing this material?

* Scott Dillard, 4515-A 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94114 (9/16/91):

At present, I am working on three Rumsen texts. I found these on reels 70 and 71 of the microfilm. Each text runs about 30 pages--I would guess a single-spaced version would be about 6 or 7 pages. They include a free Spanish translation followed by a Spanish-English-Rumsen version with glosses both in phrases and single words. There are also the usual marginalia and extensive notes and observations from Harrington.

My main problem so far is figuring out some of the references to other people and other ethnographic data. The worst nightmare is a 70 page "Grammatical Questionnaire" that seems to mesh data on Mutsun and Rumsen. I'm still trying to extract the obvious Rumsen forms while building up a comparative Mutsun-Rumsen file.

I'd very much like to see one of these texts published....So far as I know, there are no published texts in Rumsen--at least no analyzed texts. I've got my work cut out for me.

* Anthony P. Grant, 43 St. Helena Road, Wibsey, Bradford 6, West Yorkshire, England BD6 1SY (8/28/91):

I am delighted to hear about the conference, and will do all in my power to come. The use of JPH's notes is now becoming a major industry in Amerindian linguistics, and it is indeed high time that the collective wisdom was pooled and made available to new workers and prospective workers.

While my hands-on experience with Harrington's materials is next to nil, if I am to call myself an Amerindianist philologist I can't ignore JPH's work, and anyway his methods fascinate me. I think that one should not just discuss why he collected his mountainous notes, but how he set about it and whether his methods (such as using printed or manuscript forms as cues for elicitation) affected the reliability of his data. He wasn't above suggesting forms and putting them into the mouths of his consultants, as we see with his Kwalhioqua-Tlatskanai notes, and one needs to gauge how often this was done and where.

As to 'lost' data, there is apparently evidence of a missing notebook of Chocheño data, and his materials keep turning up all over the place. If we can work out where the gaps occur (say, fifty missing pages from a rehearing of a Powell schedule originally taken down by Henshaw) it will be of considerable help. The question of material reheard from 'unidentified' vocabularies (there is one such in Barbareño) should be considered. Given that he was not averse to cutting up printed material and sticking it onto sheets, could the identification of typefaces be of some use as a last resort?

One topic that should be addressed is JPH's Spanish. We need to draw up a glossary of his Spanish usage--not just the use of endings like -udo, but words like rayo, which means "cussword" though no dictionary I have found will say so, or muncho for mucho. Since so much of his work is bilingual, or simply in Spanish, a glossary of his Spanish usage, with equivalents in standard Spanish and English, would be extremely useful to many researchers. An early edition of the proposed Harrington Conference Newsletter might profitably contain a list of published and unpublished items mentioned in Elaine Mills' guides but which don't appear in Bright's Bibliography of the Languages of Native California. More ambitiously, a manual of JPH philology (JPH: A User's Guide ?) is a must, with things such as a chronological account of his life, lists of his phonetic symbols and Spanish usages, and the details of what's on which reels. A bibliography of work (books, dissertations, major articles) derived from his fieldnotes would be a good idea for an early issue of the Newsletter. Ultimately there should be a central location, a "Harrington Archive", where such items as Harringtoniana, lists of works derived from his notes, and general information on the man should be kept. It would need microfilm reading and copying facilities. Santa Barbara would be the ideal place for it, though UC-Riverside has the head start as the repository of the microfilm reels.

* Arthur E. Harrington, 560 Mayflower Road, Claremont, CA 91711 (9/4/91):

Thank you for including me in the invitation to participate in this working conference on the J. P. Harrington Papers. My uncle would be delighted to know that this is being planned and I enter into that delight.

I accompanied my uncle on a field trip as 14-year-old chauffeur for two months during the summer of 1927. I worked for him as a secretary for eight months. In the summer of 1936 I did field work for him in southern California. He came to visit us in 1940. Although we continued in communication with his daughter Awona, we did not see him again.

My chief difficulty at the present time is that I have a chronic illness that makes it impossible to know when I can function in this kind of capacity....I will, however, as energy is given, do what I can and possibly attend portions of the conference.

* Kenneth Hill, 1748 E. Hedrick Dr., Tucson, AZ 85719-2755 (9/7/91):

I have worked with Harrington materials that I photocopied at Berkeley in 1964-65. They are his notes on Gabrielino and Serrano, plus a typescript list of Chemehuevi nouns. The Gabrielino and Serrano notes also contain occasional references to Luiseño forms, but I haven't seen the independent Luiseño notes. I have worked quite recently with the Serrano notes but my work on the Gabrielino notes has been dormant for some time. The prospect of a conference coming up should inspire me to immerse myself in them once again.

Aside from the valuable linguistic content of his notes, the thing that has most captivated my attention is the nature of the transcription: To what extent was Harrington the phonetic genius he is supposed to have been or to what extent did he have to understand a linguistic system before he could transcribe it faithfully?

The dates proposed for the conference and the Santa Barbara location are quite acceptable. As for the format of the conference, I'd prefer to have organized panels discussing various areas of interest rather than independent papers. Perhaps once particular areas for discussion are identified, anyone wanting to be an active participant could put together a five minute or so (but short!) presentation of their own observations in that area for general consumption and thereafter participate as a discussant. If a purpose of the conference is to gather insights to help people use the microfilmed Harrington papers, it should be audio- or video-taped (with heavy-duty editing afterwards, to be sure). (Linguists love handouts; integrating these into either taped format will be a challenge.)

I'm really looking forward to a conference on the legacy of the "egregious" J. P. Harrington.

* M. Dale Kinkade, Dept. of Linguistics, Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (9/15/91):

I am interested in attending the projected Harrington Conference. I would like to give a paper if I can get one put together--something on his work in the Northwest, which is probably less well known to most people than his work in California. This might give some areal perspective at the conference. This would also provide some opportunity to look at Harrington's work at different points in his career, with a large gap between. He was in the Northwest in 1910 and again in the early 1940s, and there is a great difference in the quality of his work. It might be useful if others looked at how his transcriptions changed in quality over time; I assume there are other places where such a comparison could be made.

* Jack Marr, P.O. Box 10026, Fullerton, CA 92635 (8/14/91 and 9/5/91):

I am very enthused about the conference next year....I will be bringing my sister and brother, both older than me, but who also knew Harrington. They may be more observers than participants, but they knew a lot about his antics or eccentricities.

Arthur Harrington and I worked long days in 1936 boiling the aluminum records in the back yard at Santa Ana. Enclosed are a couple of letters from Harrington which I think will shed some light on the processing and handling of the records prior to the actual recording in the field. To my recollection, we never did get the breakdown of chemicals and oils comprising the secret formula for the oil. I was fifteen years old at this time. Perhaps Arthur will remember.

Harrington, in 1933 or so, had collections of Indian-made flutes, Kachina dolls, bugs and spiders (tarantulas), all in boxes with Indian names attached; also a few other things like baskets, spiritual rocks, and two shrunken heads from the Amazon. I wonder if they were shipped off to Washington, DC after his death. Also, as an up-and-coming taxidermist, I stuffed a few birds and tagged them with Indian, Latin, and common names. Additionally, I collected a very large number of plants in my travels for Harrington, the largest taken on St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea in 1941. I hope they all survived. They were placed in large gray blotters and had local native, common, and Latin names typed on slips of paper along with the blotters. Has anyone seen these?

* Marianne Mithun, Dept. of Linguistics, UC-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 (9/10/91):

Probably the language best documented by JPH, among the many, is Barbareño Chumash. He worked with the language from approximately 1913 until his death in 1961, leaving several hundred thousand pages of field notes, often without translations. The material has thus been less accessible and less used than it should be. NSF is currently funding a three year project whose goal is a grammar of the language. Tsuyoshi Ono, Suzanne Wash, and myself (principal investigator), all of UCSB, are entering the material into a computer using Shoebox. Shoebox is especially valuable because it remembers morphological structure and glosses, so will help with untranslated material.

* Bev Ortiz, Coyote Hills Regional Park District, 8000 Patterson Ranch Road, Fremont, CA 94536 (10/2/91):

I have had occasion to use Harrington's Chochenyo and Bodega Miwok field notes in the course of ethnographic and ethnohistorical research, related to East Bay Indians and Mount Diablo in the former case, and Federal acknowledgement in the latter. I also reviewed a Chochenyo song tape compiled from the larger body of recordings Harrington made and matched the songs up with Harrington's written transcriptions.

At present I am collaborating with Linda Yamane in a project which we hope will result in a Costanoan/Ohlone database. This database will, of course, rely heavily on the Harrington papers. In light of this, I am especially interested in conferring with others about electronic databasing. I am also interested in discussing ways to make past, present, and future research on the Harrington papers more generally accessible to American Indians, scholars, and the general public.

It would certainly be good to get reminiscences of Harrington before everyone who knew him is gone. Alex Ramirez (Rumsen) is someone who comes immediately to mind, not only because, as a youth, he met Harrington, but because of the knowledge he has of some of Harrington's consultants, of how Harrington was regarded in the Rumsen community, and of Old California Spanish. Such knowledge is very important in interpreting the Rumsen notes.

As for format, a combination of short papers and an emphasis on "collaborative discussion" would get my vote.

* Robert Oswalt, 99 Purdue Ave., Kensington, CA 94708 (9/7/91):

My most detailed study of Harrington's notes was on Coast Yuki, which material also contains interspersed Northern and Central Pomo. At the time I did this (about 15 years ago) I wrote several pages of critique for Elaine Mills, including my deductions on the meanings of his abbreviations and his overspecification of some details and underdifferentiation of some phonemic distinctions. I would be happy to present these findings at the proposed conference. The place (Santa Barbara) and time (preceding the Hokan-Penutian Workshop) would be excellent for me.

* William Poser, Dept. of Linguistics, Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA 94305-2150 (8/4/91):

All of the topics that you mention sound worthy of attention, but it seems to me that the attempt to determine whether there are gaps in the available material and if so, to locate the missing material, should have a very high priority, as the longer we wait, the harder it will be to trace them.

One topic that I would particularly like to see addressed is the construction of computer databases of the material. This is a very good idea as it would make it much easier to use the materials and to share them. I would also be very interested in the recordings. Hearing a language makes it real in a way that written materials do not. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to devote some attention to the questions of how to avoid damage to such old recordings, of how to enhance the quality of the sound, and of the limitations of the recording techniques of the period. * Donald Whereat, Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw Indians, 455 S. 4th, Coos Bay, OR 97420 (10/1/91):

The notes I have are xerox copies totalling some 1,700 pages. Harrington worked here in the summer of 1942, mostly with Hanis-Coos speakers Lottie Evanoff and Frank Drew. There is also a little bit of Siuslaw, Lower Umpqua and Milluk-Coos included. Last year I obtained some copies of sound recordings with Frank Drew as informant. I believe an assistant named Marr did these. Lately, I have been working with Frachtenberg's Coos texts. My plan is to compare his dictionary of Coos words with Harrington's, as they both used Frank Drew as an informant. I have never been able to completely figure out Harrington's orthography and this may be one way to do it.

* Linda Yamane, 806 Alcosta Dr., Milpitas, CA 95035 (8/20/91):

I am a Rumsen Ohlone (Carmel Valley) descendant and have been working with Harrington's "Carmeleño" material. In addition to studying language information, I have been working with another Rumsen descendant in translating the Carmel legends. It has been, at times, an overwhelming job, but with my new working partner we have made exciting progress! My friend, Alex Ramirez, was a little boy when Harrington was doing his Carmel work and he remembers Harrington's visits and his gifts of bananas. His mother and grandmother were consultants of Harrington and he remembers the Carmel Spanish. I'm amazed that he knows most of the old local Spanish that was driving me crazy and he's amazed that I can read Harrington's handwriting--so we make a great team!

I am especially interested in a forum through which people could know what work others are doing with the Harrington material. This would help avoid duplication of effort and also enable collaboration on projects of mutual interest. I am also interested in learning about sound recordings that may have been made by Harrington in the Carmel area.

If it is of interest, I am also in contact with Tony Corona, the grandson of Ascención Solarsano, Harrington's principal Mutsun Ohlone consultant. His mother, Claudia Corona, also worked with Harrington. He is in his late 80s, and his hearing and eyesight are failing, but his recollections of Harrington are still there.

HARRINGTONIANA: Poems on California Places

The following autograph poems of Harrington's, apparently never published, are among several that the late Robert Heizer found while cataloging C. Hart Merriam's papers in the 1950s. They are now in the possession of Dell Hymes, to whom we are indebted for sending us xerox copies. Whatever aesthetic value the poems may or may not have, they definitely illustrate JPH's passionate interest in topography and native placenames. The "Lagunitas home" described in the second poem was Merriam's California residence, in Marin County, where JPH was apparently a frequent visitor. Carobeth Laird wrote that Merriam was "one of the very few men whom Harrington did not denigrate. He was rumored to be a great eccentric, and that may have made him a kindred spirit." (Encounter With an Angry God, p.86.) The poems were not dated by JPH, but Merriam, in his meticulous way, noted on the manuscripts that "Áchista" and "In the Mountains of Tam-mal" were received on April 10 and October 6, 1921, respectively.

				With a thousand thunders	Love the hills behind you
				  The broad breakers pour	  With their piny sheen,-
	Áchista			Round the rocky wonders		Fairy-like we find you,
				  Of her westward shore,	  Robed in blue and green.
	        		And the cypress heaping	
Where the shore far-foaming	  Its dark tongues uptossed	Where the shore far-foaming	
  With its domes of gray	Looms like ware wild-leaping	  With its dunes of gray
Meets the pined hills doming,	  Off the crags of coast.	Meets the pined hills doming,
  There lies Monterey,-						  There lies Monterey,-
Áchista, set quaintly		And the heaven o'er us		Áchista, set quaintly		
  On her magic cove,		  Ever changing hue,		  On her magic cove,	
Where the billows faintly	Yet the sea before us		Where the billows faintly	
  Murmur her their love.	  Vies with deeper blue,-	  Murmur her their love.	

				Till a splendor hovers		
Ocean heaps its treasure	  As the sun sinks low		O ciudad famosa,
  On the beach's breast;	Twixt the blue that covers	  Vieja capital,
Yet to equal pleasure		  And the azure flow.		Area preciosa
  Lures the inland crest,					  Del alma leal,
With its piny shadows		Monterey, we love you,		En lugar ajeno
  Cast on gleaming ground,	  Pueblo of yore,		  Se acordará
With its mountain meadows	Love the skies above you,	Con amor el seno
  Where quaint herbs are found.	  And the seas before,		  De su Áchista.

In the mountains of Tam-mal,      E'en the posies round the door            While beyond yon wooded slopes
Where the waters westward fall,   Are the native plants of yore,            Where the canyon seaward gropes
Where the towering redwoods dome  Growths to Tam-mal's soil endeared        Barnaby's buff ridge stands high
Lies the Lagunitas home.          Since these mountains first were reared.  Twixt the forest and the sky.

Yonder hillside half is grown     Tam-mal-pah-yish to the south             Let the redwoods here inspire
To the ruddy-filmed madrone,      Rears his crooked head uncouth,-          To endeavor without tire,
Livening the solemn cloaks        The Bahía's bulwark great,                Let their age-old forms lead forth
Of the conifers and oaks.         Guardian of the Golden Gate.              Serious thoughts, and words of worth.


Kraus International Publications, the compiler and distributor of the 35 mm microfilm edition of The Papers of John Peabody Harrington in the Smithsonian Institution, 1907-1957, has finished 9 of the 10 volumes planned for the 500-reel project. They are available at the following prices:

  1. Alaska/Northwest Coast (30 reels) $1,500;
  2. Northern and Central California (101 reels) $5,050;
  3. Southern California/Basin (182 reels) $9,100;
  4. Southwest (58 reels) $2,900;
  5. Plains (17 reels) $850;
  6. Northeast/Southeast (18 reels) $900;
  7. Mexico/Central America/South America (36 reels) $1,800;
  8. Notes and Writings on Special Linguistic Studies (35 reels) $1,750;
  9. Correspondence and Financial Records (17 reels) $850.
(The 10th volume, to contain the photograph collection, is still in preparation.) Although Kraus primarily markets the microfilm to libraries and institutions as a complete set or in volume segments, individual researchers may purchase specific reels for $75 each. The Guide to the contents of each volume may also be purchased separately for $75. Before attempting to order specific reels, you should consult (or purchase) the relevant Guide for the correct volume and reel number(s). For more detailed ordering information, contact: Kraus International Publications, Route 100, Millwood, NY 10546; tel: 800-223-8323 or 914-762-2200. Direct inquiries to Marie Lattari.

Many conference participants may be interested in having information about the availability of the microfilm edition at research libraries in California and elsewhere. We will make an effort to survey collections in the UC, CSU, and other systems, and will publish the results in the next JPH Conference Newsletter. We would appreciate it if those of you who have access to a library collection of Harring microfilm would send us information on it (which volumes and/or specific reels; which Guides; how accessible to researchers outside the institution in question; etc.) We are already have relatively complete information on collections at UC-Riverside (all volumes), UC-Santa Cruz (selected volumes); Humboldt State University (the N. and C. California volume and selected reels from Oregon); and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (both California volumes).

The Newsletter of the J. P. Harrington Conference is distributed without charge to prospective participants in the Working Conference on the J. P. Harrington Papers, Santa Barbara, June 25-26, 1992, and to other interested scholars. To be added to the mailing list, contact the Editor: Victor Golla, Dept. of Ethnic Studies, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521. Tel: (707) 826-4324. Fax: (707) 826-5555. E-mail: gfaØØ4c@calstate.bitnet.
posted to the web 23jan1997