Newsletter of the J.P. Harrington Conference Number 10

Newsletter of the J.P. Harrington Conference

Number 10: May 1996

At the first working conference on the linguistic and ethnographic papers of John P. Harrington, held in Santa Barbara in June 1992, plans were made for further meetings and projects, as well as for maintaining and expanding the network of Harrington scholars. The Newsletter of the J. P. Harrington Conference serves as the vehicle for communicating information about these and other Harrington-related activities. The Newsletter is published at irregular intervals and is distributed free to anyone interested. To be placed on the mailing list contact the editor: Victor Golla, Dept. of Ethnic Studies, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521. Telephone: (707) 826-4324 or 677-3361. Fax: (707) 826-4418. E-mail: or


The 1996 Workshop on Hokan and Penutian Languages will be held on Friday June 28 & Saturday June 29, 1996, in the Alumni House (Toll Room) on the UC-Berkeley campus. It will be immediately followed-in the same location-by the 1996 Working Conference on the Papers of J. P. Harrington, on Saturday June 29 & Sunday, June 30. This joint meeting is being co-hosted by the Department of Linguistics at UC-Berkeley and the Department of Native American Studies at UC-Davis.

The Friday sessions will be entirely devoted to Hokan-Penutian papers. The Sunday sessions will be devoted to presentations on the Harrington materials. The Saturday sessions will be divided between the two topics according to the number and nature of the abstracts received.

Papers intended for the J. P. Harrington Conference-please mail or e-mail a title and brief abstract of your paper to: Victor Golla, Visiting Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, UC-Davis, Davis, CA 95616 (

Papers intended for the Hokan/Penutian Workshop-please mail or e-mail a title and brief abstract of your paper to: Leanne Hinton, Dept. of Linguistics, UC-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-2650 (

It would be appreciated if your abstracts reached the organizers before Friday, May 31, 1996.


As most readers of the JPH Conference Newsletter know, the microfilm edition of The Papers of John Peabody Harrington in the Smithsonian Institution, 1907-1957 was an undertaking of Kraus International Publishers, who until now have also been the distributors of the film. Late last year, however, Kraus announced the termination of its scholarly microfilm division. The distribution rights to the JPH microfilm have now been transferred to: Norman Ross Publications, 330 West 58th Street, New York, NY 10019 (tel: 212/765-8200; fax: 212/765-2393).

We are happy to report that the Norman Ross company is continuing to market the Harrington microfilm, as well as the Guides to the material prepared by Elaine Mills, and that the employees we dealt with on the phone recently were knowledgeable and helpful. Although they welcome inquiries from libraries and institutions interested in purchasing substantial portions of the 500-reel collection, they are making an effort to serve the needs of individual researchers as well. The microfilm is available for purchase at $90 for a single reel, or $70 per reel for orders of two or more. They will sell individual copies of the Guides when they have a sufficient stock, and where they are down to their last few copies they will xerox the relevant pages for you.


Jim Glenn (Senior Archivist at the National Anthropological Archives) reports that the transfer to tape of all of the approxi-mately 1,000 aluminum-disc sound recordings made by JPH and his assistants in the 1930s should be completed within a year. Several hundred discs have been transferred since the project began about a year and a half ago. Jim is particularly concerned with the identification of the languages on recordings that lack labels, and has been devoting a good deal of his scarce research time to this task. One of the more important finds Jim has made is approximately 30 Takelma recordings made in 1934 with Frances Johnson, the last fluent speaker of this Oregon Penutian language. Mrs. Johnson had earlier (1906) worked with Edward Sapir and was the source of the material he incorporated into his well-known Takelma grammar and texts. On the discs, Harrington appears to have re-elicited all of the texts in Sapir's collection as well as recorded several new narratives. Jim will be happy to work with researchers interested in this material. He can be reached at: National Anthropological Archives, NHB, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560 (tel: 202/357-4567; e-mail:


Speaking of JPH's aluminum disc recordings - Jack Marr recently sent us an article clipped from the Orange County Register for Sunday, January 17, 1996, which described the monthly "language lessons" that are being held by members of the Juaneņo Band of Mission Indians at San Juan Capistrano. Rather than the usual vocabulary drills and tutoring in a practical orthography, the Juaneņos gather to listen to tape recordings of the last fluent speaker of their language, Anastacia Majel, dubbed from aluminum discs that Harrington and his nephew, Arthur, made in the mid-1930s. Tribal researchers were led to these recordings about three years ago, and have found them and the associated notes to be a cultural treasure trove. "Anastacia's our savior," Joyce Perry is quoted as exclaiming. (Joyce, one of the leaders of the Juaneņo language revival, helped organize the very successful 1994 JPH Conference at Capistrano). "Imagine what it felt like when we found these. We freaked! For me, this is like living through my ancestors' dreams. To be able to use their words and pass them on to my children."

According to the article, a photograph of Majel (who died in 1938, shortly after JPH and Arthur worked with her) is set in front of the room during the class, so that there will be a face to go with the voice. "When I look at that picture and hear her speak, it's like she comes alive," Bud Sepulveda, one of the 20 or so Juaneņos who regularly attend the sessions, is quoted as saying. Among the other students are two of Majel's grandsons, and a great-grandson.

Arthur Harrington told the Register that Majel had a fondness for his eccentric uncle. "When he went into things like this, he went in wholeheartedly, and she was grateful for that." Altogether, 145 hours of recordings were made, over the course of two months. The sound quality is generally quite good.


The 1996 Annual Meeting of the Society for California Archaeology, held in Bakersfield, California, April 3-6, featured a symposium on John Prabody Harrington: Reel to Real. Organized by Lynne E. Christenson and Cindy T. Stankowski (San Diego State University), the papers in this symposium focused on the archaeological and material-culture side of JPH's work. Presentations included:

Linda Agren, "The Exploration of Burton's Mound: John P. Harrington, Santa Barbara, 1923"; Chad Tritt, "The San Diego State University Burton Mound Collection"; David Earle, "Field Research among Takic-Speaking Groups during the Early 20th Century: Evaluating Harrington's Fieldwork within a Wider Ethnographic Context"; Brian Haley & Larry R. Wilcoxon, "The Implications of Revision: Point Conception's Sacredness Revisited"; Ken Hedges & Ken Gary, "The Harrington Mojave Collection at the San Diego Museum of Man"; John R. Johnson, "Chumash Political Succession as Reconstructed from Harrington's Ethnographic Papers and Mission Records"; Bruce Love, "Luiseņo Placenames, Harrington's Notes from Pechanga and Pala, and Archaeology"; Cindy Stankowski, "Baskets Full: The SDSU-John Peabody Harrington Native American Basket Collection"; and Susan Wolfe, "Going Places in the Southern San Joaquin Valley with J. P. Harrington"

For further information contact Lynne Christenson, Dept. of Anthropology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-0377 (



Fagan, Brian, Time Detectives: How Archeologists Use Technology to Recapture the Past. Simon & Schuster, 1996. [This whirlwind tour of 13 archaeological sites around the world includes a chapter on prehistoric Chumash society as reconstructed from JPH's notes. Fagan includes a short synopsis of Harrington's career, and argues that his detailed recording of memory culture can be considered a type of archaeological investigation.]

Rivers, Betty, & Terry L. Jones, "Walking Along Deer Trails: A Contribution to Salinan Ethnogeography Based on the Field Notes of John Peabody Harrington." Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 15(2):146-175 (1993 [appeared November 1994]). [JPH's notes provide the most coherent portrait we have of the community of Salinan-speaking people who resided in the northern Santa Lucia Range. The clarity of the picture that can be drawn from JPH's work is remarkable.]

Seaburg, William R. Collecting Culture: the Practice and Ideology of Salvage Ethnography in Western Oregon, 1877-1942. Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Washington, 1994. 325 pp. [Seaburg focuses on the similarities and differences in the fieldwork and publications of four "memory culture" anthropologists who worked at the Siletz Reservation: J. Owen Dorsey, Philip Drucker, Elizabeth D. Jacobs, and John P. Harrington. Each interviewed the same consultant-Coquelle Thompson (d. 1946)-and S. also looks closely at his life and his active role in the construction of anthropological knowledge about "Upper Coquille Athabaskan" and reservation culture.] See Dissertation Abstracts International 55(11), p. 3554-A.

Wash, Suzanne M. Productive Reduplication in Barbareņo Chumash. M.A. thesis, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, 1995. 210 pp. [A study of syllable structure and reduplication in Barbareņo, using the theoretical frameworks of Prosodic Morphology and Lexical Phonology. Wash's data are mostly derived from JPH's notes (Papers of JPH in the Smithsonian Institution, Volume III, Reel 59) and she devotes some space to discussing the circumstances of his work and the phonetic orthography he used for Barbareņo. In an appendix she gives JPH's original transcriptions of all the examples she cites in the thesis.]

posted to the web 15jan1997