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An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology

The Rockefeller Foundation

page 49

The Rockefeller Foundation

In 1926, the Rockefeller Foundation appointed Edwin R. Embree, Clark Wissler, and Edwin G. Conklin to make investigations on the purpose, equipment, and personnel of Pacific institutions. The object was to ascertain what institutions had purposes which were worthy of financial assistance from the foundation. Bishop Museum's program of research in Polynesia proved acceptable, and assistance to the extent of 50,000 dollars was promised, on condition that a similar amount was received from other sources. The President of the Board of Trustees of Bishop Museum, Albert F. Judd, took a leading part in bringing the matter before individuals and foundations in the territory with the result that the additional 50,000 dollars was raised locally. Thus, the Museum was assured of the sum of 100,000 dollars to continue its program of research work in Polynesia for a period of five years. The fund enabled the Museum to add to its scientific staff, finance Museum expeditions, and publish scientific reports without the delay caused by a limited printing fund.

The ethnologists on the staff were J. F. G. Stokes, Kenneth P. Emory and Edward S. C. Handy. As a result of the increased fund, an invitation was extended to me to join the staff in Polynesian research, which I did in 1927.