Guide to the Robert Francis Maher papers, 1944-1987
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.1997-02
Creators:
Maher, Robert F. (Robert Francis), 1922-1987
Dates:
1944-1987
bulk 1954-1987
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
7 sound recordings
6.38 Linear Feet
13 boxes
Repository:
Robert Francis Maher (1922-1987) was an anthropologist with the University of Western Michigan whose work focused on Oceania. The collection documents his field research in Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. His field research in Papua New Guinea focused on cultural change in the Purari Delta and the modernist Tommy Kabu Movement (1946-1968). His field research in the Philippines focused on the ethnological and archaelogical history and changes in the Ifugao province. The collection consists of field notes, excavation notes, census data, genealogy charts, grant applications, research files, research proposals, maps, correspondence, manuscripts, sound recordings, and photographs.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of Robert F. Maher document his field research in Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. His field research in Papua New Guinea focused on cultural change in the Purari Delta and the modernist Tommy Kabu Movement (1946-1968). His field research in the Philippines focused on the ethnological and archaelogical history and changes in the Ifugao province. The collection consists of field notes, excavation notes, census data, genealogy charts, grant applications, research files, research proposals, maps, correspondence, manuscripts, sound recordings, and photographs.
The Papua New Guinea research files primarily consist of Maher's fieldwork diary from 1954-1955. Included with the diary is an annotated partial typescript transcription. Other material includes excavation notes and dwelling information. There is also census material from Tommy Kabu about a work area known as Rabia Camp. The diary describes Maher's time with Tommy Kabu at Rabia Camp and Port Moresby, as well as his time in the Purari Delta.
The Philippines research files include field notes, excavation notes, census data, genealogy charts, and research files. The field notes contain detailed reports on pottery, tools, and agricultural and social aspects of the Ifugao province. The census data chiefly contains undated questionnaires filled out by residents of different Ifugao villages. The research files contain reports along with correspondence. Some of the fieldwork reports, along with census data and genealogy charts, were probably authored by two of Maher's research assistants, Emilio Pagada and Ben Pitpitunge.
The bulk of the correspondence is professional in nature, and primarily concern his work in the Philippines. Included is correspondence with anthropologists Harold C. Conklin, William A. Longacre, Daniel J. Scheans, Richard Shutler, and Wilheim G. Solheim. Also included are letters from Tommy Kabu.
The sound recordings contain 5 magnetic tape reels (3 in.) likely recorded in the Ifugao Provice of the Philippines.
The photographs and slides are unprocessed.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged in 6 series:
Series 1: Research, 1944, 1954-1985
Series 2: Correspondence, 1953-1987
Series 3: Writings, 1961-1983
Series 4: Writings by Others, circa 1950s - circa 1980s
Series 5: Sound Recordings, undated
Series 6: Photographs

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Robert F. Maher was born in Eldora, Iowa in 1922. He studied anthropology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and received his B.S. in 1948, his M.A. in 1950, and his Ph.D. in 1958. He was an instructor at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee in 1953-1954, and at DePauw University in 1956-1957. He joined the Department of Sociology at Western Michigan University in 1957 and became professor of anthropology there in 1966. In 1967, he became the first chairman of the UWM department of Anthropology. He remained at UWM until he died.
Most of Maher's publications concern his work in Oceania. In 1954-1955, as a Ford Foundation fellow he began research on the Namau, the people of the Purari Delta in Papua New Guinea, concentrating on culture change and, in particular, on the modernist Tommy Kabu Movement. In 1961, he published New Men of Papua: A Study in Cultural Change which earned him the Genevieve Gorst Herfurth Award for outstanding social science. He returned to Papua New Guinea in 1973, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1982, and 1983, often only staying there for a small amount of time.
In 1960-1961, Maher began a Senior Fulbright Research Grant funded study of the ethnological and archeological history of the Ifugao region of the Philippines. He returned to that area in 1973, 1975, 1978, and 1982. While in Ifugao, Maher conducted cultural studies and excavations in eleven villages and over four agricultural districts including the Banaue, Burnay, and Kiangan districts.
Maher also carried out ethnological and archeological work in the United States. He was a member of the University of Wisconsin Chippewa Reservation Research Project in 1951-1952, and he and his students worked with the Potowatomi of Michigan from 1959 forward. In 1952, he was an assistant director of excavations at the Black Widow site in South Dakota for the River Basin Surveys. He also carried out archeological work in Wisconsin and at Aztalan in the Southwest. Outside the United States, he carried out a survey of villages in Okyama Prefecture in Japan in 1960.
Maher died of cancer in 1987 shortly before he was due to retire after 30 years of teaching. The University of Western Michigan has established an anthropology scholarship in his name.
Sources Consulted:
Solheim, Wilhelm G. 1967 Robert F. Maher 1922-1987. Asian Perspectives 27(1).
Chronology
1922
Born on July 14 in Eldora, Iowa
1948
B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconson at Madison
1950
M.S. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison
1953-1954
Instructor at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
1954-1955
Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea
1956-1957
Instructor at DePauw University
1958
Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison
1959-1960
Research on the Potawatomi in Michigan
1960
Fieldwork in Okayama Prefecture, Japan
1960-1961
Fieldwork in the Philippines
1961
Published New Men of Papua
1966-1987
Professor at Western Michigan University
1973
Fieldwork in the Philippines
Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea
1974
Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea
1975
Fieldwork in the Philippines
1976
Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea
1978
Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea
Fieldwork in the Philippines
1982
Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea
Fieldwork in the Philippines
1983
Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea
1987
Died of cancer on March 26

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Adam Fielding, 2014.
Encoded by Adam Fielding, August 2014.
Author
Adam Fielding
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection as well as for digitization of the sound recording was provided by the the Arcadia Fund.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Robert Maher's wife, Lee Maher, in 1988.

Selected Bibliography
Selected Bibliography
1958. Tommy Kabu Movement of the Purari Delta. Oceana 29(2):75-90.
1960. Social Structure and Cultural Change in Papua. American Anthropologist 62:593-602.
1961a. Varieties of Change in Koriki Culture. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 17:26-39.
1961b. New Men of Papua. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
1967. From Cannibal Raid to Copra Kompani: Changing Patterns of Koriki Politics. Ethnology 6(1):309-331.
1973. Archaelogical Investigations in Central Ifugao. Asian Perspectives 16(1):39-70.
1974. Koriki Chieftainship: Hereditary Status and Mana in Papua. Ethnology 13(3):239-246.
1975. The Great Ifugao War: A Study in Archaelogy and Oral History. Asian Perspectives 18(1):64-74.
1978. Ifugao. In Studies in Philippines Prehistory. F. Landa Jocano, ed. Pp. 270-305. Quezon City: Institute for Advanced Study, University of the Philippines.
1981. Archaelogical Investigations in the Burnay District of Southeastern Ifugao, Philippines. Asian Perspectives 24(2):223-236.
1984a. Kiyyangan Village of Ifugao Province, Philippines. Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society 12(2):116-127.
1984b. The Purari River Delta Societies, Papua New Guinea, after the Tom Kabu Movement. Ethnology 23(3):217-227.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Contact repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access
The Robert Francis Maher papers is open for research. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Preferred Citation
Robert Francis Maher papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Papua New Guinea Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Purari (Papua New Guinea people) Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Philippines Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maps Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Namau Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ifugao (Philippine people) Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Field notes Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Genealogical tables Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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