The Barama River Caribs of British Guiana

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Author: Gillin, John Philip (1907-1973)

Year: 1936

Publisher: Peabody Museum Press

Place: Cambridge


xiv+274 pages with 30 plates, 12 text illustrations including maps, fold out table and bibliography. Royal octavo (9 3/4" x 6 1/4") in original wrappers. Papers of the Peabody Musuem of American Archaeology and Ethnology, volume XIV, number 1. First edition.

The original scope of the present study was to gather and interpret data on the social organization and physical anthropology of the Barama River Caribs of British Guiana. The late Walter Roth, whose death in 1933, had devoted a period of more than thirty years to a study of the Guiana Indians. Roth's interests lay most strongly within the fields of material culture. It was felt that his compendious publications on these aspects of Guiana Indian life left little to be done in that field with the time which could be devoted to the present research. Since the sixteenth century a series of explorers, missionaries, and occasional scientists have published interesting data on the Indians of the Guianas and associated tribes. The problem of the Harvard expedition was twofold: first, to select a tribe which had hitherto been neglected; second, to chose those aspects of primitive life which, on the basis of examination of the earlier literature, had received scant attention in the past. It was apparent that two tribes which had been most neglected were the Waiwais living at the head of the Essequibo River and the Caribs of the Barama River in the Northwest District. Because resources and time were limited the Caribs were chosen. Since this study the Amerindians of Guyana have been comparatively little studied by the anthropological community, because of the impossibility of obtaining official permission to conduct field research among Guyanese Amerindians. This means that what studies have been conducted often represent the state of the art at that time. This is one of the few credible works on this group.


Wrappers detached at hinges, spine ends chipped, an unread copy with the pages still to be separated and opened, some light foxing else a fair copy.

SOLD 2018

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