Carol Laderman Papers
NAA.2012-09
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.2012-09
Creators:
Laderman, Carol
Dates:
1970-2009
Languages:
Multiple languages
Most of the materials are in English. Her field notes and sound recordings are in Malay (Malay, Terengganu, and Kelantan dialects and ritual language).
Physical Description:
6 linear feet
(15 boxes and 1 manuscript envelope) and 154 cassette tapes
Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
Carol Laderman was a medical anthropologist best known for her research on Malay traditional medicine. Her work focused on beliefs and practices regarding childbirth and nutrition as well as shamanic healing practices in rural Malaysia. This collection consists of the professional papers of Carol Laderman, medical anthropologist and university professor. The bulk of the collection pertains to her research on childbirth, nutrition, and shamanic healing practices in rural Malaysia. These materials include field notes, surveys, transcripts of Main Peteri ceremonies, grant applications, photographs, and sound recordings. Of special interest are her photographs of midwives and shamans treating patients, including Main Peteri ceremonies, as well as traditional Malay weddings and festivals. Also noteworthy are her recordings of Main Peteri ceremonies and her interviews with midwives and shamans. The collection also contains her unpublished and published writings; her dissertation; a report on her undergraduate fieldwork with pregnant Puerto Rican teenagers; her lecture notes and files as a university professor; files documenting her involvement in professional associations; and correspondence with colleagues.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
This collection consists of the professional papers of Carol Laderman, medical anthropologist and university professor. The bulk of the collection pertains to her research on childbirth, nutrition, and shamanic healing practices in rural Malaysia. These materials include field notes, surveys, transcripts of Main Peteri ceremonies, grant applications, photographs, and sound recordings. Of special interest are her photographs of midwives and shamans treating patients, including Main Peteri ceremonies, as well as traditional Malay weddings and festivals. Also noteworthy are her recordings of Main Peteri ceremonies and her interviews with midwives and shamans. The collection also contains her unpublished and published writings; her dissertation; a report on her undergraduate fieldwork with pregnant Puerto Rican teenagers; her lecture notes and files as a university professor; files documenting her involvement in professional associations; and correspondence with colleagues.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
This collection is organized in 8 series: Series 1. Research, 1972, 1975-1977, 1981, 1985, 1987, 2000-2003, undated; Series 2. Writings, 1970, 1975, 1978-2001, 2004, undated; Series 3. Student Files, 1972, 1975, 1979, undated; Series 4. Teacher Files, 1977, 1979-1982, 2001-2002, 2007, undated; Series 5. Correspondence, 1974-1981, 1985-2005, 2009, undated; Series 6. Professional Activities, circa 1981, 1989-1990, 1994, 2004, undated; Series 7. Photographs, circa 1975-1977, circa 1982, undated; Series 8. Sound Recordings, 1976-1977, 1982, 2003, undated.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Carol Laderman was a medical anthropologist best known for her research on Malay traditional medicine. Her work focused on beliefs and practices regarding childbirth and nutrition as well as shamanic healing practices in rural Malaysia.
Laderman (née Cohen) was born on October 25, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York. When she was 6, her father changed their family's surname to Ciavati due to his difficulty as a Jew finding an engineering job. Laderman grew up with musical aspirations, intending to become a concert pianist. She attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan and majored in music at Brooklyn College. In 1953, she married Gabriel Laderman, a painter and later an art professor. She took a leave from college to follow her husband after he was drafted into the U.S. Army five months following their wedding. Her hiatus from college spanned fifteen years, during which time she had two sons (1958, 1965). She also worked as a legal secretary in Ithaca, New York, and as a social secretary and translator for an opera singer when she and her family lived in Italy.
After returning to New York City, she enrolled in evening classes at Hunter College. Although she planned to resume her studies in music, her academic focus changed after taking an anthropology course taught by medical anthropologist Rena Gropper. In 1972, she earned her B.A. in Anthropology, and with the assistance of a Danforth Foundation Fellowship, she attended graduate school at Columbia University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1979.
As an undergraduate student, Laderman conducted fieldwork at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City (1972-1973), assisting in a project on pregnant teenagers and nutritional health. She was assigned to collect data on Puerto Rican adolescent mothers, which exposed her to humoral beliefs in food, medicine, and people. This experience would later inspire her to conduct her graduate fieldwork on nutrition and childbirth in Malaysia, where humoral beliefs were also held but not well-explored by researchers.
From 1975 to 1977, Laderman and her family lived in Merchang, in Trengganu (now Terengganu), Malaysia. Working under the auspices of the Malaysian Ministry of Health of the Institute for Medical Research, Laderman studied both traditional and hospital-based medicine. As part of her fieldwork, she received training from a hospital to collect blood samples to study the effects of birthing and dietary practices on women's health. She also apprenticed herself to a traditional midwife (bidan kampung), whom she assisted in a number of births. By comparing food ideologies and actual food intake of pregnant and postpartum women, Laderman was able to refute the prevailing view of scholars that malnutrition among rural Malays was largely due to dietary restrictions based on the humoral system. In her dissertation, "Conceptions and Preconceptions: Childbirth and Nutrition in Rural Malaysia," Laderman describes how Malay women adapt their diets to their needs and that their customs allow for interpretation and manipulation. In 1983, a revised version of her dissertation was published as Wives and Midwives: Childbirth and Nutrition in Rural Malaysia.
While seeking to gain an understanding of traditional Malay medicine in its entirety, Laderman also became exposed to theatrical spirit séances known as Main Peteri (also Puteri or Teri). At that time Main Peteri was no longer performed in most Malaysian states but was still thriving in Trengganu and nearby Kelantan. Performed primarily as healing ceremonies by shamans (bomoh), Main Peteri was a last resort for the afflicted. These performances were characterized by entranced patients, spirit possessions, singing, music, dancing, and an audience. Laderman attended and participated in a number of these ceremonies and became a student and adopted daughter to a shaman. She recorded and transcribed several Main Peteri performances and received an NEH grant (1981-1985) to translate the texts. She also returned to Merchang in 1982 to conduct further research on traditional healing ceremonies. In her monograph Taming the Wind of Desire (1991), she discusses Main Peteri and its relationship to the Malay concept of Inner Winds (angin), which determine a person's personality, talents, and drives. In 1987 to 1990, she returned to her musical roots to collaborate with ethnomusicologist Marina Roseman to transcribe, analyze, and interpret the music of Main Peteri. Together, she and Roseman also edited The Performance of Healing (1996). In addition, Laderman became interested in the effects of urbanization and globalization on traditional Malay healing practices, a topic which she addressed in a collection of her writings, The Life and Death of Traditional Malay Medicine (in press).
Laderman was a professor at the Department of Anthropology at City University of New York City College (1990-2010). She was also an associate professor at Fordham University (1982-1990) and taught briefly at Hunter College (1978-1980), Brooklyn College (1979-1980), and Yale University (1980-1982).
She died on July 6, 2010 at the age of 77.
Sources Consulted
[Autobiographical statement], Series 2. Writings, Carol Laderman Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
1972. Carol Laderman, SGS Student, Wins Danforth Fellowship. SGS Newsletter 2(7): 1.
Laderman, Carol. 1983. Wives and Midwives: Childbirth and Nutrition in Rural Malaysia. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
Laderman, Carol. 1991. Taming the Wind of Desire: Psychology, Medicine, and Aesthetics in Malay Shamanistic Performance. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
Maizura, Intan. 2003, September 28. A bidan, a bomoh & a New Yorker. Nuance: 16-18.
Roseman, Marina, Laurel Kendall and Robert Knox Dentan. 2011. Obituaries: Carol Laderman (1932-2010). American Anthropologist 113(2): 375-377.
1932
Born October 25 in Brooklyn, New York
1953
Marries Gabriel Laderman and takes a leave from Brooklyn College
1972
Earns B.A. in Anthropology from Hunter College
1972-1973
Conducts research at Mt. Sinai Hospital on ethnic eating patterns, food beliefs, and anemia in adolescent Puerto Rican mothers
1975-1977
Conducts fieldwork in Merchang in Trengganu, Malaysia
1979
Earns Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University
1982
Returns to Malaysia to conduct fieldwork on shamanism and trance healing
1982-1988
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Fordham University
1988-1990
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Fordham University
1990-2010
Professor, Department of Anthropology, City University of New York City College
2010
Dies on July 6

Administration
Processing Information note
The papers of Carol Laderman were received largely unarranged. The processing archivist arranged and organized the collection into 8 series. Original folder titles were retained with titles assigned by the archivist placed within square brackets.
The archivist would like to thank Catherine Carbone for her assistance in processing the collection.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Lorain Wang
Sponsor
Digitization and preparation of these materials for online access has been funded through generous support from the Arcadia Fund.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Carol Laderman's sons, Raphael and Michael Laderman in 2012.

Selected Bibliography
Selected Bibliography
1982 Giving Birth in a Malay Village. In Anthropology of Human Birth. Margarita A. Kay, ed. Pp. 81-100. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.
1982 Putting Malay Women in Their Place. In Women in Southeast Asia. Occasional Paper, No. 9. Penny Van Esterik, ed. Pp 79-99. Dekalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Center for South East Asia Studies.
1983 Wives and Midwives: Childbirth and Nutrition in Rural Malaysia. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
1988 Wayward Winds: Malay Archetypes and Theory of Personality in the Context of Shamanism. Social Science and Medicine 27(8): 799-810.
1991 Taming the Wind of Desire: Psychology, Medicine, and Aesthetics in Malay Shamanistic Performance. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
1991 Main Peteri: Malay Shamanism. Kuala Lumpur: Federation Museums Journal Monograph.
1991 Malay Medicine, Malay Person. Medical Anthropology 13(1-2): 83-98.
1991 A Jewish Family in Muslim Malaysia. Review of Jewish Folklore and Ethnology. 13(1): 17-19.
1996 edited with Marina Roseman. The Performance of Healing. New York, New York: Routledge.
1997 The Limits of Magic. American Anthropologist 99(2): 331-341.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
The Carol Laderman Papers are open for research. Access to the Carol Laderman Papers requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use note
Contact the repository for terms of use. Permission to use sound recordings of Main Peteri ceremonies transcribed and published in Taming the Wind of Desire must be obtained from Columbia University’s Center for Ethnomusicology.
Preferred Citation note
Carol Laderman Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Archival Materials note
Two videotapes were received with the Carol Laderman papers and transferred to the Human Studies Film Archives.
Some of Laderman's original field recordings are at Columbia University's Center for Ethnomusicology. Copies of those recording are in this collection and are so noted.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ethnology--Malaysia Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Field notes Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kampong Merchang (Terengganu) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Language and languages--Documentation Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Malay language Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Malays (Asian people) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Malays (Asian people)--Medicine Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Malaysia Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Medical anthropology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Midwifery Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pregnancy--Nutritional aspects Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seances Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shamanism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Traditional medicine Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland , 20746
Phone: 301.238.1300
naa@si.edu