Human Studies Film Archives

Guide to Mokil, 1950


Collection ID:
Bentzen, Conrad
Physical Description:
4 Film reels
60 minutes
color sound; 2,163 feet
Linear feet

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
Edited film of daily life and celebrations on the Mokil atoll in the Caroline Islands, shot in 1947 through the Coordinated Investigation of Micronesian Anthropology. English narration, as if from the point of view of a Mokil islander, emphasizes familial and social relationships and in particular the influence of economic standing upon these interactions. Footage includes: growing, harvesting, cooking, and storing native plants including coconut, breadfruit, and taro; bird-hunting and fishing techniques; construction of a canoe; Christmas celebrations, with comparison of mens' traditional dances with newer missionary-taught dances; children, women, and men at play, including footage of canoe races; and a visit by American traders. Film concludes with reflection upon land boundaries as they pertain to wealth and status.
Supplementary materials: manuscript "Land and Livelihood on Mokil, An Atoll in the Eastern Carolines" by Conrad Bentzen; production overview and project report; subjects and story points/boards; film records; map.
Legacy keywords: Language and culture ; Dance ; Outrigger canoe ; Hunting ; Fishing ; Christianity ; Boatbuilding ; Food preparation cooking ; Domestic and family life
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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today.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 Anthropology Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.


Immediate Source of Acquisition
Received from Michael Bentzen in 2016.

Using the Collection

Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research. Please contact the archives for information on availability of access copies of audiovisual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the Human Studies Film Archives may not be played.
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Preferred Citation
Mokil, Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution

More Information

Local Numbers

Local Numbers
HSFA 2016.2.1


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Oceania Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
population Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dance Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fishing Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Outrigger canoes Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound films Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Human Studies Film Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland 20746