Scope and Contents
This collection reflects part of the work and study of Raoul Weston La Barre, anthropologist and ethnologist. Included are field notes, research noteslips, correspondence, bound and unbound manuscripts, a scrapbook, materials on ethnobotany, photographs, special subject files, and miscellany consisting of publications, processed material and clippings.
The collection is divided into three broad subject areas. The Kiowa Studies and Peyote Studies relate to La Barre's field trips to Oklahoma in 1935 and 1936 and his study of peyotism and the ethnography of the Kiowa Indians. Considerable material relates to the Native American Church. The field notes are the result of interviews with informants among the Kiowas and have never been published. There is also some material on Kiowa linguistics. Related photographs (in Boxes 12 and 13) include portraits of Indians, many of whom were active in the Native American Church and peyotism.
Other Peyote Studies materials represent La Barre's interest in peyote and drug use during the 1960s. Much of this material relates to the Kiowa-Peyote Materials but with less emphasis on the Kiowa and more emphasis on hallucinogenic drugs. Some attention is paid to legal aspects of religious use of peyote.
The Aymara Studies relate to La Barre's field trip to Bolivia, 1937-1938. Most of the material pertains to the culture of the Aymara, with some lesser emphasis on the Uru and the Chipaya. Aymara linguistics, folklore and ethnobotany are included. Related photographs (in Box 14) cover a cross section of the cultures with an emphasis on the festivals and dancing of the Aymara.
The correspondence throughout the entire collection deals mainly with the editing and publication of La Barre's various manuscripts. Very little correspondence is of a professional nature. Among correspondents whose letters are included are Richard E. Schultes, Donald Collier, John Collier, Leslie Spier, William Bascom, Heinrich Kluver, Julian H. Steward, Morris Opler, Elsie Clues Parsons, Alfred Wilson, Alfred Metraux, Sol Tax, and G. P. Murdock.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.