Friday, December 9, 2011

The Southernmost Peoples

A black and white photograph showing a group of people in furs, holding bows.Charles Wellington Furlong was the first American to explore the interior of Tierra del Fuego. In 1907-08, during his first expedition in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, Furlong lived among the Onas and Yahgans, the southernmost peoples of the world. Though these tribes have long since disintegrated due to external stresses and their cultural identity is now almost completely vanished, the observations made by Furlong concerning their way of life makes for a unique record. Material here about the Fuegian tribes includes audio recordings of speech and song, dermatoglyphs (hand prints and foot prints), notes, published works, correspondence, and hundreds of photographs, including negatives and lantern slides, which describe in detail the natives and their societies. Shown here are Onas who accompanied and guided Furlong. The caption to the image reads: "Group of Two Ona Families and Dog, North of Eastern End of Lake Cami, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina 1908."

The description on the reverse continues:
These people were part of Furlong's expedition. Two Ona men were cousins. Man on left was Chalshoat and in the center Puppup. Two women on right, and older and younger one, are the two wives of Puppup. Those on the left are Chalshoat's wives. These two families usually traveled in company, except when guanaco were extremely scarce. The fine guanaco hound in front of Puppup was an inevitable companion. The daisy-like flowers may be noted in the grass which covers a boggy terrain.
In addition to the material related to the Fuegian peoples, the collection also contains correspondence, notes, and publications related to the controversy over whether Frederick A. Cook or Robert E. Peary reached the North Pole. As Furlong believed that Cook tried to take credit for the work done by Thomas Bridges in compiling his Yahgan-English dictionary, he was always a strong supporter of Peary's claim.

Ask for Stef Mss 197 to see the collection. A finding aid is available.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Remembering Pearl Harbor

A black and white photograph of Takanobu Mitsui.Seventy years ago, the weeks following December 7, 1941, were filled with a good deal of uncertainty and anxiety for the entire nation and the world, including members of the Dartmouth community.  On campus, discussion and debate continued between the interventionists and the pacifists and all of those in between. For Takanobu "Nobu" Mitsui, a member of the class of 1943, and the elder son of a prominent Japanese industrialist and Dartmouth alumnus, life was exceedingly more disquieting. Mr. Mitsui wanted to stay and complete his education at Dartmouth, following in his father’s footsteps and to be followed by his younger brother Mori '58.

History reveals that, thanks to the sponsorship and oversight of his family, several alumni, members of the administration and classmates, he was able to remain in Hanover, all the while under the watchful eye of President Hopkins and the State Department.

The archives contain multiple sources that give us glimpses of Mr. Mitsui's experiences here in the days following Pearl Harbor, as well as the care and concern shown by some members of the Dartmouth community. However, despite the safe harbor provided to him, Dartmouth was not immune to negative outside influences. Racist anti-Japanese sentiments filtered into Hanover and the campus, via the news media, propaganda and blackballing in fraternities.
A poster showing a racist caricature of a Japanese man with the text "Plizz not to work so hard."
A poster featuring an airplane and the text "Let us divide the Pacific Ocean with Japs We'll take the top and give them the bottom."

A poster featuring a racist caricature of a smiling Japanese man with the text "Wipe off that smile!"
To read Mr. Mitsui's memoir, ask for Alumni M697a; to read the translations of Mr. Mitsui's memoir completed by Edward Rasmussen '42, ask for MS-1069; to see Rauner's collection of World War II ephemera, ask for MS-1198. Mr. Mitsui's alumni file is also available.