ANTHROPOLOGICAL STUDY OF SOUTH AMERICAN INDIANS PLANNED SOON
Museum Director's Report Reveals Wide Activities During Past Year
An anthropological study by the Peabody Museum of Harvard University which may prove to be of assistance to South American countries in the governing of minority Indian groups within their borders was described yesterday by Donald Scott, Director of the Museum, in his annual report.
Since January 1939 Mr. and Mrs. Harry Tschopik, Jr. of the Museum, have been at work in the Aymara Indian village of Chucuito, in the Peruvian Andes, an ancient community which many authorities believe represents remnants of the original Andean culture, and which maintained its own culture in the fact of both Inca and Spanish political domination.
Problem of Government
"In view of the fact that South American countries are faced with the problem of governing Indian minority groups, it would be useful to discover how and why a particular aboriginal group, namely Aymara, has effectively resisted Spanish culture to the extent that it has," the Museum report stated.
The Chucuito study, conducted in a South American sector little known to anthropologists, is the opening investigation in a long-considered plan of the Peabody Museum to enter the field of South American ethnology and archeology.
War conditions interrupted Harvard archaeological and anthropological studies in the Near East and Tangler last year, but the Peabody Museum carried out field work in the Solomon Islands, Liberia and the Cameroons, Peru, Panama, Arizona, New Mexico and Arkansas.
Thousands of Specimens
Thousands of new specimens came in to the Museum in a total of 126 lots, from all the continents of the world, according to the report. Included were primitive materials from the Solomon Islands, a type series of potsherds from India, a set of carved wooden masks from Liberia, Paleolithic and Neolithic specimens from excavations in Tangier, gold-plated copper figurines and pottery from Panama, archaeological material from Central America, and specimens of pottery and carved stone vases from the Uluo Valley, Honduras.
Field work included investigation of the Poro secret society of Northern Liberia; preliminary work in a long-range study of the origins of the "Middle Mississippi" Indian agricultural culture; conclusion of a five-year archaeological study of the Pueblo Indian village, Awatovi, in Arizona, dating back to 600-700 A.D.; and completion of an exceptionally thorough survey of the cultural and racial components on the anthropologically important Pacific island of Bougainville, largest in the Solomon Island group.