Wednesday, December 2, 2015

An unpublished English translation of Ploetz & Métraux (1930)

The material civilization and social and religious life ofthe Žè Indians of Southern and Eastern Brazil is an English translation of an article originally published in French in the Revista del Instituto de Etnología de la Universidad Nacional de Tucumán (1930), an Argentinian journal then under the editorship of Alfred Métraux.1 So far unpublished, the carbon-copied typewritten manuscript was located among the collection of bibliographical materials on Jê and Macro-Jê groups compiled by anthropologist William Crocker (Curator Emeritus, NMNH/Smithsonian Institution) throughout his long and productive career. Digitized by Barbara Watanabe (Museum Specialist, NMNH/Smithsonian Institution), the document is here made publicly available for the first time.2

The manuscript contains a number of handwritten corrections, and was obviously based on the published version, since the corresponding page numbers are indicated in the margins. The precise date of the translation, as well as the translator's identity, remain unknown. It is rather likely, however, that the translation was not made by Métraux himself, since it contains mistakes which he would have avoided. The handwritten corrections, on the other hand, are probably in Métraux's own hand.3