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An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology

Samoa (1926, 1927)

Samoa (1926, 1927)

A Museum party, consisting of C. Montague Cooke, Jr., leader; A. F. Judd, President of the Board of Trustees; and T. T. Dranga, collector, spent February and March of 1926 in American Samoa (Tutuila and Tau) collecting landshells. Mr. Judd also gave considerable attention to collecting ethnological material to fill gaps in the Museum collection. In his report to the Director he stated:

  • The material culture of the Samoans is changing very rapidly. Some of the things I obtained were curiosities to the younger Samoans, who did not know their names or uses. It is my conviction that with all due speed we should send a competent ethnologist to Samoa to complete our collections.

Following upon Judd's report of the previous year, a party consisting of A. F. Judd, leader; Bruce Cartwright, Associate in Ethnology; and me as Ethnologist, visited Tutuila in September 1927. We made a complete tour of the islands of Tutuila and Aunuu and were hospitably received in every village. The object of Bishop Museum in making a complete survey of the Polynesian people was explained to the people through a bilingual talking chief attached to the party, and hearty cooperation was accorded both in information and material objects illustrating the arts and crafts. Judd and Cartwright returned to Honolulu at the end of a month and Mrs. Buck joined me in Samoa.

We visited the Manua Islands, Tau, Olosega, and Ofu. We were joined by Paul T. Diefenderfer, Assistant in Ethnology. However, he was shortly offered the position of Superintendent of Education by the Naval Administration, and as the position would enable him to continue research in ethnology, he accepted it. Mrs. Buck and I then visited Upolu and Savaii in British Samoa, where, with the cooperation of the administration, additional information and artifacts were obtained. Work was concentrated throughout on material culture and the technical details of the various crafts. Mrs. Buck and I returned to Honolulu in March 1928.