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An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology

The American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History

Cooperation between Bishop Museum and the American Museum of Natural History was established in 1920 when plans were made for the ethnological survey of Polynesia. Clark Wissler, Curator of Anthropology at the American Museum, was made Consulting Anthropologist to Bishop Museum, and his experience and advice have proved invaluable throughout the years. The special field of cooperation was in physical anthropology and, by agreement, Louis R. Sullivan (B.A., Bates College; M.A., Brown University) was appointed Research Associate in Anthropology to Bishop Museum, on January 18. Sullivan had pursued graduate courses in anthropology, palaeontology, and anatomy at Columbia University and at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. On his release from service as anthropologist in the United States Army (1918-1919) he became Assistant Curator of Anthropology at the American Museum. In the planning of the Bayard Dominick Expeditions, the detailed plans for the field work in physical anthropology and the analysis of results were placed in the hands of Sullivan. To insure uniformity of technique and consequent comparability of results, methods of taking measurements and of recording descriptive observations were discussed with members of the expedition and, as far as practicable, actual field practice was given under his direction.

The anthropometric cards filled in by members of the Bayard Dominick Expeditions in Samoa, Tonga, and the Marquesas were analyzed and worked up by Sullivan for publication by the Museum. He, himself, made measure-page 56ments on the Hawaiians, both adults and children. He worked up his material on the adult Hawaiians shortly before his death in 1925, and his manuscript was prepared for publication by Clark Wissler. Wissler also worked up Sullivan's notes on Hawaiian children.

Harry L. Shapiro (Ph.D., Harvard), who was a Bishop Museum Fellow in 1923, when he made a field study on the descendants of the mutineers of the Bounty living in Norfolk Island, was appointed Assistant Curator of Anthropology at the American Museum. Under the cooperation prevailing between the two institutions, he was made Research Associate in Anthropology to the Bishop Museum, and he continued Sullivan's work of analyzing the anthropometric cards returned by expeditions and preparing manuscripts for publications. His first work was on the Tahitian cards filled in by Stokes in 1922 and by Dr. and Mrs. Handy in 1923. In 1929, Shapiro spent 10 months in the Marquesas, Tuamotu, and Society Islands, where he joined the Bishop Museum Tuamotu Expedition and was assisted by Emory and Stimson. In 1934, he accompanied the Templeton Crocker Expedition to Tahiti, Tuamotus, Australs, Mangareva Islands, and Easter Island and further augmented the anthropometrical records. He worked up the field measurements made by me on my expedition to the Cook Islands and the manuscript was published by the Museum in 1936 (Memoirs, XII, 1).

Field measurements made by Macgregor in Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau, and Rotuma and by Earnest Beaglehole in Pukapuka, as well as his own material, will be dealt with later by Shapiro, as time and other duties permit. It will be noted that field work in physical anthropology has been conducted by both institutions, the material prepared for publication by the American Museum, and the final publication by Bishop Museum. The material published by the Museum is shown in the following list:
Anthropometrical Surveys
IslandsField ObserversAuthorsBishop Museum Publications
SamoaE. W. Gifford W. C. McKernL. R. SullivanMemoirs, VIII, 2, 1921
W. C. McKern
TongaE. W. Gifford W. C. McKernL. R. SullivanMemoirs, VIII, 4, 1922
W. C. McKern
MarquesasE. S. C. Handy W. C. HandyL. R. SullivanMemoirs, IX, 2, 1923
W. C. Handy
Hawaii (adults)L. R. SullivanL. R. SullivanMemoirs, IX, 4, 1927
Norfolk IslandH. L. ShapiroH. L. ShapiroMemoirs, XI, 1, 1929
Hawaii, (children)L. R. SullivanClark WisslerMemoirs, XI, 2, 1930
Society IslandsE. S. C. Handy W. C. Handy J. J. F. G. StokesH. L. ShapiroMemoirs, XI, 4, 1930
W. C. Handy
J. F. G. Stokes
Cook IslandsP. H. BuckH. L. Shapiro P. H. BuckMemoirs, XII, 1, 1936
P. H. Buck