Symposia: Jean Guiart: L’ethnographie comme marathon d’une vie/Ethnography as Life’s Marathon
Organizers: Lamont Lindstrom and Marc Tabani
Participants in last year’s informal session in Hilo jump to a virtual symposium to discuss circulated papers that examine highpoints in the career of French ethnologist Jean Guiart. Papers focus on Guiart's ethnographic methods; his political positions; the contemporary significance of his extensive social and cultural documentation; and his intellectual heritage and influence within French ethnography and Pacific Studies and anthropology
Guiart (1925-2019) was born in Lyon into a trilingual Protestant family (speaking French, English, and German). A student of Maurice Leenhardt at l’École Pratique des Hautes Études, he earned a preliminary diploma for ethnographic work on Tanna (Vanuatu) and later a doctorate based on an analysis of New Caledonian chiefly systems and also that island’s mythology and masks. He began his lengthy career with the Musée de l’Homme but then in 1947 took up a position with l’Institute Français d’Océanie and ORSTOM in Noumea. He subsequently held additional positions at the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, and back again at Musée de l’Homme before retiring first to Noumea and then Pape’ete where he established a press, Le Rocher-à-la-Voile, publishing his own work alongside that of others, including a number of local scholars. In Noumea, Guiart initiated projects in both descriptive and applied ethnography. An assiduous fieldworker, Guiart developed “sociological inventories” that he constructed by visiting every village and hamlet across an island or region, conducting censuses and documenting details of genealogy, chiefly status, land tenure, and more. In addition to original work on Melanesian social movements, chiefly systems, and oral and colonial history, he published widely on Oceanic arts. Guiart also collaborated with archaeologist José Garanger whose excavations were guided by Guiart’s collection of Efate/Shepherd Islands oral traditions.
Session participants and paper titles (subject to revision) include:
*Marc Tabani -- Clés pour l’ethnologie de Jean Guiart: son périple ethnographique à Tanna
*Lamont Lindstrom -- Jean Guiart’s Contacts Culturels
*Ron Adams -- Sapos yu wantem save eni samting abaot kastom blong Tanna, yu mas go long ofis blong franis man. Mista Guiart hem I raetem evri samting long buk blong hem”: Encountering Jean Guiart on Tanna.
*Chris Ballard -- A night on the island: Jean Guiart meets Roi Mata on Lelepa
*Jean-Louis Rallu -- Jean Guiart, ethnologue observateur et acteur dans le Pacifique
*Bruno Saura -- Jean Guiart et la Polynésie français, d’hier et d’aujourd’hui
*Serge Tcherkézoff -- Moruroa, Danielsson and the Museum of Tahiti: Jean Guiart's disappointments in French Polynesia in the 1970s
*Nancy Lutkehaus -- Jean Guiart: 'L'Art est une parole’
CREDO librarian Judith Hannoun will also present a Guiart bibliography that she is compiling.
For additional information or to join the session, please contact co-organizers Marc Tabani (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lamont Lindstrom (email@example.com).