Scope and Contents note
The collection documents George Eaton Simpson's fieldwork in Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Nigeria and consists of 704 unique images. The 1936 images of Haiti were primarily made at Milot, Fort Liberté, and Cap Haitien. The 1937 images were predominantly taken in Plaisance, Haiti; these include images of people, buildings, houses, street views, coumbites (communal work groups), a wedding ceremony and procession, markets, social gatherings with drumming and dancing, dancing demonstrations, and Vodun ceremonies. Images of Jamaica in 1953 and 1957 were made primarily in Kingston, Spanish Town, and Morant Bay; these depict people, buildings, houses, outdoor scenes, Revival Zion leaders and ceremonies, Jonkonnu (John Canoe) dancers, Rastafarian activists and leaders, and Kumina-related instruments. Images from Trinidad in 1960 primarily depict Maracas Bay, Tunapuna, and Port of Spain, and relate to the Shango Cult and the Spiritual Baptists (sometimes referred to as Shouters); included are religious participants, ceremonies, processions, baptisms, temples, and shrines and altars. The Nigerian images date to 1964, and largely depict subjects in Ibadan and Lalupon, including people, markets, a dance festival, temples, ceremonies, and shrines.
The photographs were primarily made by Simpson, but some were made in Jamaica by Frederic Ramsey, Jr. Many prints and slides are annotated by Simpson. The collection also includes a few reprints of articles based on Simpson's field work and words and musical transcription from Savalou Ricourt, a musician of Port au Prince in 1937.