Guide to the Raoul Weston La Barre papers, 1934-1970

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.1976-057
Creators:
La Barre, Weston, 1911-1996
Dates:
1934-1970
Languages:
Collection is primarily in
English
. Some materials are in other languages.
Physical Description:
7 Linear feet
Repository:
Raoul Weston La Barre was an anthropologist and ethnologist who is best known for his work with ethnobotany, his work on Native American religion, and for applying psychiatric and psychoanalytic theories to ethnography. This collection primarily contains materials relating to his 1935-1936 field work in Oklahoma and 1937-1938 field work in Bolivia, but also contains materials relating to his interest in the use of peyote and other hallucinogenic drugs which dates through the 1960s.

Scope and Contents
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.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged in 5 series: (1) Kiowa Studies, 1935; (2) Peyote Studies, 1937-1970; (3) Aymara Studies, 1937-1959; (4) Photographs, 1934-1938; (5) La Barre Term Papers, 1934-1935

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Raoul Weston La Barre was born on December 13, 1911, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. He received his A.B. from Princeton University in 1933 and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1937. He is best known for his work with ethnobotany, his work on Native American religion, and for applying psychiatric and psychoanalytic theories to ethnography.
He conducted field work among the Kiowas in Oklahoma under the auspices of the Santa Fe Laboratory of Anthropology in 1935. In 1936, he conducted field research among Plains Indians in Oklahoma with R. E. Schultes for the Yale Institute of Human Relations. This work primarily concerned the Native American Church and the use of peyote and formed the basis for his 1937 dissertation thesis, "The Peyote Cult," as well as his 1938 book of the same name. His interest in the use of peyote and other hallucinogenic drugs continued throughout his career. He earned a Sterling Fellowship at Yale in 1937, which allowed him to conduct field work among the Aymaras and Urus in Bolivia from 1937 to 1938.
La Barre went to the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas, on a postdoctoral fellowship from the Social Science Research Council in 1938. While there, he was trained in psychoanalysis and conducted research. When he completed the fellowship in 1939, he gained a teaching position at Rutgers University, where he remained until 1943.
During World War II, he worked as a Community Analyst for the War Relocation Authority in Utah and was trained as a parachustist. He also served on the staff of Field Marshal Montgomery. In the later stages of the war, he conducted field research in China and India (1943-1945). Finally, he worked with the Atlantic Fleet until his discharge from the naval reserve in 1946.
After leaving the military, La Barre took a position at Duke University, where he taught anthropology from 1946 until his retirement in 1977. During his tenure at Duke, he also taught courses in psychiatry at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine (1956-1969). He became a James B. Duke Professor of Anthropology at Duke University (an endowed chair) in 1970.
His best-known works are
The Peyote Cult
(first published in 1938, reaching its 5th edition in 1989), which studied the use of peyote in the Native American Church, and The
Ghost Dance: Origins of Religion
(1970), which explored the birth of religions through a psychoanalytic lens.
La Barre died on March 13, 1996, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Chronology
1911
Born December 13, Uniontown, Pennsylvania
1933
A. B. Princeton University
1935
Santa Fe Laboratory of Anthropology—Field work among Kiowas, Oklahoma
1936
Yale Institute of Human Relations—Field work among Plains Indians, Oklahoma, with R. E. Schultes
1937
Ph.D. (Anthropology), Yale University
1937-1938
Sterling Fellowship—Field work among the Aymara and Uru, Bolivia
1938-1939
Research, the Menninger Clinic, Topeka, Kansas
1939
Married Maurine Boie, July 9
1939-1943
Instructor, Rutgers University
1943
Community analyst, War Relocation Authority, Topaz, Utah
1943-1945
Field work, China and India
1946-1970
Professor, Duke University
1956-1959
Professor, University of Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
1959-1969
Visiting Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
1970-1977
James B. Duke Professor of Anthropology at Duke University
1996
Died March 13, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Administration
Processing Information
The folder titles of this collection were written by the creator of the collection, Raoul Weston La Barre. Some of these folder titles include offensive or outdated language. The original titles have been retained to preserve the historical integrity of the archival record. Use of this language does not reflect the views of the National Anthropological Archives or the Smithsonian Institution.
Processed by Anna Z. Thompson October 1998
Encoded by NAA Staff
Author
Anna Z. Thompson
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers of Raoul Weston La Barre were received by the National Anthropological Archives in 1975 as a donation from Mr. La Barre.

Selected Bibliography
Selected Bibliography
1937. "The Peyote Cult." PhD diss., Yale University, 1937.
1938.
The Peyote Cult
. Yale University Publications in Anthropology, no. 19. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938.
1948.
The Aymara Indians of the Lake Titicaca Plateau
. Memoir series of the American Anthropological Association, no. 68. Menasha, Wisconsin: American Anthropological Association, 1948.
1954.
The Human Animal
. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954.
1962.
They Shall Take Up Serpents: Psychology of the Southern Snake-handling Cult
. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1962.
1970.
The Ghost Dance: Origins of Religion
. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1970.
1980.
Culture in Context: Selected Writings of Weston La Barre
. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1980.
1984.
Muelos: A Stone Age Superstition About Sexuality
. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984.
1991.
Shadow of Childhood: Neoteny and the Biology of Religion
. University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access
Some of the materials in the collection are covered by copyright as of April 1976.
Access to the Raoul Weston La Barre papers requires an appointment.
Preferred Citation
The Raoul Weston La Barre papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
Weston La Barre papers, University Archives, Duke University, https://archives.lib.duke.edu/catalog/ualabarre/

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Peyote Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aymara Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Uru Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kiowa Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Native American Church. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746
naa@si.edu
http://www.anthropology.si.edu/naa/