Encyclopédie internationale
des histoires de l’anthropologie

History of Anthropology in Brazil (1930‑1960): Testimonies

Mariza Corrêa


2024 [1985]
Pour citer cet article

Corrêa, Mariza, 2024 [1985]. “History of Anthropology in Brazil (1930‑1960): Testimonies”, in Bérose - Encyclopédie internationale des histoires de l'anthropologie, Paris.

URL Bérose : article3341.html

Télécharger en pdf

Résumé : Cet article est une publication posthume et une traduction d’un manuscrit de l’anthropologue brésilienne Mariza Corrêa (1945-2016) résumant son projet de recherche sur l’histoire de l’anthropologie au Brésil. Conservé par l’Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth de l’Université de Campinas, au Brésil, le document original a été dactylographié en portugais en 1985 et est aujourd’hui disponible en anglais pour la première fois. Elle-même figure clé de l’histoire de l’anthropologie brésilienne, Mariza Corrêa a joué un rôle de premier plan dans l’avancement de l’historiographie disciplinaire. Si son héritage est particulièrement durable au Brésil, le potentiel de ses idées en tant qu’historienne de l’anthropologie n’a pas encore été pleinement saisi à un niveau plus large.

Report submitted to FAPESP – January 1985 [1]

If these lines should come to the notice of any of those who, once delightful students, are now my respected colleagues I must ask them not to resent what I say. When I think of you it is by your Christian names, according to your custom : rich and strange they are, to a European ear, and proof of how your fathers were still free to range over the whole of human history to find just the name that would suit your own fragrant beginnings. Anita, you were called, and Corina, and Zenaide, and Lavinia, and Thais, and Gioconda, and Gilda, and Oneide, and Lucilia, and Zenith, and Cecilia. And you others were called Egon, and Mario-Wagner, and Nicanor, and Ruy, and Livio, and James, and Azor, and Achilles, and Decio, and Euclides, and Milton. It is not in irony that I recall those first hesitant days. Quite the contrary : for they taught me how precarious are the advantages conferred by time. I think of what Europe was then, and of what it is now ; I realize that you have made intellectual advances, in the last thirty years, of a kind which one might expect to take several generations ; and I see how one society dies and another comes into being. I see, too, that the great upheavals which seem, from the history-books, to result from the play of nameless forces in the heart of darkness, may also be brought about, in an instant of lucidity, by the virility and set purpose of a handful of gifted young people.(Claude Lévi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques) [2]

"A handful of gifted young people..."

Not exactly children, in fact : [3] the first of the male names mentioned, for example, that of Professor Egon Schaden, [4] referred to a student who was in fact a little older than the professor. It was the university in Brazil that was in its infancy, that institutional place of favour when we trace the history of anthropology in our country and which, throughout our journey, has shown how intertwined the history of Brazilian academia is with national political life and the history of other teaching and research institutions. It is also an institutional place whose rules of operation have changed so much over a period of around thirty years that at first, from the darkness of our ignorance, it seemed as if we were not even talking about the same anthropology. As indeed we were not ; certain words began to acquire for us the meaning of codenames through which our communication was facilitated – while our belief in their empirical basis was forever shaken. This was an extremely salutary and even theoretically predictable result in an attempt by anthropologists to study the history of anthropology. It is with this initial caution about the terms used here, therefore, that some of the results from an ongoing research project can be evaluated.

Returning to the question

In order to expand upon the existing surveys of anthropology practised in Brazil between 1930 and 1960 (e.g. Woortmann, 1972 ; Peirano, 1980 ; Velho, 1980 ; Durham, 1982 ; Melatti, 1984), we have emphasised individual trajectories, placing them in their institutional and theoretical context. And in order to assess the possibilities of thinking about Brazilian anthropology, we have also established links between the work produced in the country’s different regions. This does not imply abandoning a longitudinal view of national production in the field of anthropology as a whole, but rather trying to grasp an important moment in the constitution of this field as such : both in the definition of its practitioners and in the possibility of a systematic production of research. This also applies to the training of researchers within well-defined institutional frameworks and with a certain autonomy in relation to other fields, whether social or other sciences. This is not about saying that it is only since 1930 that “science” has been done in Brazil – a mistake already pointed out by Wanderley Guilherme dos Santos (1978) ; nor is it about evaluating anthropological production solely on the basis of the institutional framework of anthropologists, i.e. their “professionalisation”. Based on the testimony of those who lived it, it is a matter of analysing a history which, although it certainly has national roots, also has strong international connections ; and which, although it has been characterised by the creativity, informality and individual initiative of its agents, also has solid institutional support and defined rules of action. All this has contributed to establishing, as precisely as possible, a certain Brazilian anthropological territory.

In order to characterise this territory, it is first necessary to establish a map of the institutions where anthropological practice has taken place and who its agents are ; and to try to identify the rules of their coexistence, which are important in maintaining a more systematic debate between these agents. Secondly, it is about trying to abstract some general characteristics of the dynamics of history within this field. These characteristics become clearer when placed in the broader context of the history of anthropology in Latin America. It is as if we were dealing with several overlapping sections of the same story (which, despite this, is never the same), whose general configuration could only be grasped if we distanced ourselves from it, placing it in a larger framework. Step by step, then, the pathways for a history of anthropology in Brazil may be structured as follows.

Institutional context

From the scientific expeditions promoted by the imperial government (Braga, 1962 ; Schaden and Pereira, 1967) to the multiplicity of newspapers, magazines, journals and associations, both literary and scientific, created in our country throughout its history, a desire for self-knowledge can be noted on the part of Brazilians that has not yet been sufficiently analysed. (Two examples are particularly pertinent here, given that their authors are defined or define themselves as anthropologists : Gilberto Freyre’s Casa Grande & Senzala [Masters and Slaves] [5] and the television series Brasileiros, [6] produced by Roberto da Matta. [7])

Two important characteristics in relation to these various activities are, on the one hand (contrary to what is commonly assumed) the extraordinary vitality of native intellectuals and their degree of information on contemporary issues, even in the corners supposedly furthest from the country’s political and economic centres, and even if the scope of these activities was very limited in some cases ; and, on the other hand, the strong influence of public authorities on these activities, either reinforcing and co-opting or, more often than not, fighting them. In a country with a traditionally Lusitanian [8] background, the existence of the functionary-intellectual from a very early stage must also be emphasised.

Institutional support for intellectual activity is not, therefore, a twentieth-century novelty, but a well-established tradition in the Brazilian context, even if the institutions were of a different kind to what we know today. A first ordering of this institutional variety on the national scene, which is of interest to us, took place with the creation of museums in various regions of the country. Museums not only began to house the material collections gathered by curiosity seekers, mission workers or naturalists, but also to offer some more systematic institutional support to the type of research that is now incorporated into the field of anthropology. An analysis of the importance of these institutions for national knowledge would be useful ; so far, we only have partial views (e.g. Castro Faria, 1942 ; Galvão, 1962 ; N. Figueiredo, Depoimento [9]). The importance of the museums’ import was not depleted in the period prior to the creation of the faculties of philosophy, the nuclei where the current departments of social sciences were formed. In fact, they were often connected to the new institutions (see the case of the Museu do Índio [10] (Museum of the Indian, 1983), or the Museu Paulista, [11] for example).

The role of the faculties of philosophy for the institutionalisation of anthropology studies in the later period, as well as for the creation of Brazilian universities, has been sufficiently emphasised in the literature. Nonetheless, we lack a good analysis of the legislation and the constant changes in it, regulating teaching careers, research, and the university training required of graduates – syllabus included. We also lack a good analysis of the division that has taken place over time in the disciplinary areas of the social sciences as a whole. The role of the postgraduate courses that were created in the country at an accelerated rate from the end of the 1960s has been emphasised, but with no corresponding analysis. The influence of national and international foundations and funding agencies in guiding, reinforcing or creating certain lines of research or research centres has not been given more careful attention either. (The question “Who paid the bills for anthropology in Brazil ?” receives partial answers in Professor Donald Pierson’s testimony and is the subject of a study by one of the project team members).

A final aspect concerns institutions not directly linked to the university but whose researchers often also occupy teaching positions ; these are venues where an entire generation was trained, including figures whose importance cannot be forgotten : remember, for example, the Department of Culture of the Municipality of São Paulo [12] (Funarte, 1983), the Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Educacionais (Brazilian Centre for Educational Research ; [13] O. Nogueira, Depoimento ; W.G. dos Santos and E. Durham, Mesa Redonda [14]) or the Centro Latino Americano de Pesquisas em Ciências Sociais (Latin American Centre for Social Science Research). Although the Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro (University Research Institute in Rio de Janeiro, IUPERJ) has been publishing a competent and very useful Índice de Ciências Sociais (Social Sciences Index) since 1979, many publications from those centres are not present there. This is the case, for example, with the Revista do Arquivo Municipal, which is particularly important for keeping up with national anthropological production in the period we are interested in.

A map of the institutions in which Brazilian anthropologists have undertaken their work would be incomplete if we did not consider the way in which their activities, albeit multiple and scattered, were interconnected over the years. Here, a clear milestone in the history of anthropology – more important in my opinion than the ‘political dates’ of 1930 or 1964 that are usually invoked – is the creation of the Associação Brasileira de Anthropology (Brazilian Anthropological Association, ABA) in 1953. This is not to downplay the importance of the Escola Livre de Sociologia e Política (Free School of Sociology and Politics, [15] 1933) or the University of São Paulo (1934) in the training of a whole generation of anthropologists, nor to diminish the significance of the most recent postgraduate courses in the country ; but it is impossible to detach their history from that of the ABA. The creation of the association is a particularly important indicator in this history if we consider, firstly, that an anthropology as thriving as the Peruvian (to cite just one example) has so far failed, despite the efforts of our colleagues in that country, to organise an association (Osterling, 1983) ; secondly, the reasonable regularity with which the ABA has organised national conferences enables Brazilian anthropologists to constantly update their teaching and research (whether this option is actually taken up by a large proportion of anthropologists is another matter). Thirdly, from a certain moment onwards, the very existence of the ABA seems to signal the awareness of the existence of that above-mentioned ‘anthropological territory’ : whether by reviving a certain historical tradition, or by stimulating a certain national conviviality while at the same time creating its rules, over the course of thirty years these meetings have expressed the recognition of the importance of each piece of work, teaching or research carried out in the country for all the others. Unfortunately, unlike its conferences, the ABA’s Anais (Annals) are published every four years, but analysis of them and a careful survey of the journals used by anthropologists to publish their work would certainly help us to rethink the widespread notion of the fragmentation of Brazilian anthropology (E. Schaden, testimony ; the indexing of the journals Anhembi, Revista do Museu Paulista and Revista do Arquivo Municipal de São Paulo has been done or is in progress by members of the project team). Another possibility for reflecting on this (apparent) characteristic of anthropology practised in Brazil emerges from discussing the next point.

Theoretical context

We leave aside the evolutionist and positivist traditions that guided much of the work produced in and about Brazil from the middle of the nineteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth. These were theoretical traditions that, in the specific case of anthropology, rather than being contested, were rhetorically altered so as to be incorporated into subsequent theoretical schemes (Corrêa, 1982). We can think instead of at least two ‘theoretical orientations’ that played a very important role in research conducted in the anthropological field in the period from 1930 to 1960 : ‘acculturation’ and ‘community’ are codenames that often bring together, rather than separate, scholars who invoked other themes (such as race relations, indigenous groups, rural populations, among others) as guiding their anthropological researches.

The advantage of thinking in these terms (rather than the traditional resource of referring to anthropological research within the three big currents of functionalism, structuralism and Marxism) is twofold. Firstly, the emphasis shifts from an apparently dispersed and heterogeneous production, albeit based on the same authors as sources of inspiration, to a set which, seen from the angle of its relevance to the Latin American context, presents a certain unity of meaning. And secondly, the sociopolitical context, more often invoked rhetorically than used as an explanatory possibility, is incorporated into the analysis. In order to understand the theoretical rupture that followed the use of those guidelines both within Brazilian anthropology and in the wider context of Latin America, a brief reference to some ironies of history is necessary. In his testimony, Egon Schaden gave us a good clue to one of these ironies, when he recounted how he strenuously tried to teach the rudiments of physical anthropology, given the resistance of students who, he claimed, had gone to study social sciences “to transform the world”.

At least one important transformation in the world of social sciences took place during the years from 1968 to 1975, [16] a period that is usually defined as the most damaging for Brazilian intellectual production (ironically, the ‘production of theses’ – an important indicator in funding agency surveys – more than doubled in this same period) : many young people, the offspring of previous political effervescence, were violently repressed in the student milieu and left the country to do postgraduate studies abroad ; or, when they stayed in Brazil to follow the postgraduate programmes created in the 1960s, they began to study precisely those topics that could not be dealt with in any other way. In a way, this prepared an infrastructure of knowledge of certain ‘sensitive areas’ of the national reality that are only fully debated today. Here, it is also important to note the contributions of other disciplines, such as the ‘new history’, which emphasised the role of agents traditionally excluded from history and which dovetailed very well with the prominence which anthropologists have always given to social categories defined as ‘marginal’ or ‘deviant’. Particularly visible in the urban concentrations of the 1970s, these categories existed well before, in the 1940s or 1950s, at least in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador – even if their analytical parameters were different at the time.

It was also during this period that some professors from institutions that were central to the history of the social sciences in general and who were prevented from continuing their work in the academic sphere, wandered various prestigious intellectual centres in Latin America, the United States or Europe ; they became known, took on the local influence, and returned to exercise it in their own country : Florestan Fernandes [17] and Fernando Henrique Cardoso [18] are the most obvious examples, but there are multiple others. It was also during this period that there was a flourishing activity and reflection on the importance of religion, particularly among the groups hardest hit by the economic policies of the ‘revolutionary’ Brazilian governments. This could be compared to what happened in Colombia in the 1950s, when ‘La Violencia’ fuelled an outbreak of antropologia misionera. Of course, all these researchers were influenced to varying degrees by the airs of their times, studying the proposals of French structuralism to a greater or lesser extent, entering into the contemporary Marxist debate, or becoming acquainted with the anthropological studies of the Manchester school, etc. These influences, however, should also be analysed in the context of the sociopolitical situation in which they were put into practice.

Under the impact of structural changes in Brazilian society, this important transformation of social sciences in the country as a whole not only sheds light on the immediately preceding period, but can also be analysed as a process of opening up to the Latin American world, the beginnings of which may perhaps be discerned in a certain critical sharpening of Brazilian researchers, especially in relation to their northern brethren. It is no coincidence that it was at a seminar on the social sciences in Latin America, held in Rio de Janeiro after 1964, that Florestan Fernandes said : “The Latin American social scientist did not just respond to the imperatives of social imitation. He tried to build the social sciences on bases that corresponded historically to the way in which science could be implanted and developed in his respective countries ; and to the way in which these countries could be, in turn, incorporated into the trends of modern civilisation. Should the foreign social scientist, especially when he considers himself or is an ‘Americanist’, turn his back on this dimension of reality ?’ (Fernandes, 1966 : 126). It was a time when it was still possible to write modern civilisation without inverted commas and when the Americanists had not yet been succeeded by the Brazilianists. In the same year, E. Durham, discussing the problems of an “applied anthropology”, stated that “the very evolution of relations between Western societies and the so-called primitive peoples (or underdeveloped nations) has forced anthropology to examine problems relating to the application of scientific knowledge to the extent that anthropological knowledge begins to acquire political implications’ (Durham, 1966 : 117, emphasis added). Underdevelopment could also be spoken of without inverted commas.

Older traditions aside, up until this point (the mid-1960s), social sciences in Brazil had developed along two main lines : either in the direction of the great historical syntheses produced by individual talents such as O. Vianna, [19] S. B. de Holanda [20] or G. Freyre, or around collective research projects in which the “great national problems” were analysed : Blacks, Indians, or rural populations in transition to the urban world. It may be true that anthropology did not then have the “theoretical tools to replace functionalism when reflecting on the political and social issues that polarised all attention” (Durham, 1982 : 161), but, as a discipline, it already had a reasonable amount of autonomy and had also overcome the transitional period following the pioneering researches on Afro-Brazilian and indigenous groups, when certain ‘established truths’ indeed began to be questioned by anthropologists trained in the São Paulo schools. Two major representatives of the older traditions left the scene in this period : Arthur Ramos [21] died in 1949 without having seen, perhaps fortunately for him, the results of his own endeavours to undertake major research into race relations in Brazil (T. Azevedo and F. Fernandes, testimonies) ; and Roquette-Pinto, [22] who died in 1954, was unable to appreciate the subsequent projects on indigenous groups that the Museu Nacional would lead in the following years (Cardoso de Oliveira, Depoimento).

From the 1940s onwards, at least three names that had been important in the institutionalisation of anthropology in other Latin American countries also became important in Brazil. The influence of P. Rivet, [23] E. Willems [24] and A. Métraux [25] signalled the beginning of a more systematic exploration of issues that were important in Brazil but also resonated in Europe ; henceforth, they would be somehow bundled under the headings of “acculturation” and “community”. It was the beginning of an era of ambitious projects to analyse the national reality. Their clear hallmark, in contrast to previous individual work, was that they were financed, theoretically well-defined, and carried out by a team. The funding came from the same sources that financed anthropological research in Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico : the Smithsonian Institution (with its Institutes of Anthropology in Latin America ; D. Pierson, testimony ; Wagley, 1964), Columbia University, the University of Chicago, or UNESCO.

Of course, the isolated researchers did not disappear, but even their work suffered the decisive influence of these projects, and with greater or lesser emphasis, they used the same theoretical resources. In relation to the Latin American context, the big difference between Brazilian research production at this time and that carried out in other countries was that, in the latter, the analysis of indigenous populations took centre stage, while in Brazil it was initially Afro-Brazilian relations that occupied this place. Until the 1960s, “Americanist” was almost synonymous with the researcher of Hispanic America – in whose eyes Hispanic America was indigenous. The “communities” were therefore “American-Indian” communities and the “acculturation” was that of the descendants of the oldest inhabitants of the Americas in contact with “white-European civilisation”. This was a different situation from Brazil, where the communities were mostly rural localities, and the acculturation was that of the descendants of African slaves or the second and third generation of European immigrants on the national scene.

Curiously, the proliferation of indigenist learned societies in Latin America from 1940 onwards – the year of the First Inter-American Indigenist Congress in Mexico – may have had the secondary effect of reinforcing Bolivar’s notion, taken up by Mariátegui, of an “American homeland” : given that the parameters of analysis, and a good part of the analysts, came from outside, it was as if the indigenous populations of Latin America formed a single, vast territory, defined more in archaeological than anthropological terms, and provided the substratum for the national territories that would only be the focus of thorough analysis in a later period. So it is not surprising that men like Rivet, Métraux or Baldus [26] crossed borders so easily at the time.

Even more curious is the fact that, in Brazil, the work of the Americanists’ successors seems to have contributed to the continuation of a kind of “internal colonialism” – to use Anísio Teixeira’s formula, later taken up by both Brazilians and Mexicans. Put into practice by native intellectuals since the end of the last century, “internal colonialism” contributed both to the popularisation of the idea of “two Brazils” and , by contrast, to marking our singularity in the Latin American context. In a way, the “problem of the black man”, traditionally taken as the inaugural milestone of Brazilian anthropology, was relocated to the scene in other terms while still featuring as a national diacritic. The importance of the presence of professor-researchers in Brazil in the 1940s and 1950s, such as Roger Bastide, Charles Wagley [27] and Donald Pierson, [28] is twofold : it lies both in the combination between their “modern” theoretical orientations and the well-established perspectives on Brazil of Brazilian intellectuals, and in the more commonly acknowledged influence they exerted by training the following generation of anthropologists and by strengthening – and in some cases, creating – institutions for the development of research.

Thales de Azevedo’s [29] testimony about the “Columbia University-State of Bahia project” is exemplary in this regard. It reveals that if Charles Wagley and his team had their own research interests and a precise theoretical orientation before settling in, it was in Salvador that they found fertile ground for exchange, both in terms of locally developed policies, namely by Anísio Teixeira [30] and Thales de Azevedo, and in broader terms as an exchange of “worldviews”. Something similar occurred in the work of Roger Bastide, Donald Pierson and Emilio Willems in São Paulo. Their experience of “culture contact”, to use a common notion at the time, was somewhat crystallised and expanded in Rio de Janeiro, where, in the following decades (50s and 60s) they met each other, orchestrated an “anthropological policy” and trained new researchers who participated in the great projects of the 40s and 50s or graduated under their influence : Anísio Teixeira, Darcy Ribeiro, [31] Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira [32] (testimony), Oracy Nogueira [33] (testimony), among others. The formation of an ‘anthropological territory’ and the decisive influence of certain research centres and national funding agencies as places of institutional support along with and beyond the university were therefore made possible by the combination of political, academic and theoretical interests. In this process, certain institutions and their agents began to lose the importance they had in previous periods, certain themes came to predominate, others were abandoned, and some notions were no longer invoked as explanatory, but became descriptive. The theoretical influence summarised here in the terms “community” and “acculturation” remained, however, decisive for the history of anthropology in Brazil during this whole period, and the impact caused by the research projects in question – particularly those funded by UNESCO and the community studies coordinated by D. Pierson in the São Francisco Valley and by C. Wagley in Bahia – was long-lasting.

By way of conclusion

This, of course, is a somewhat incomplete profile of the trajectory of anthropology in Brazil – but, working at this level of generalisation, it is what can be established at present. It points out the directions in which the analysis, of the testimonies already obtained can go, the bibliographical material collected and the interviews recorded during 1984, which is still in progress. All this is extremely suggestive of many other avenues to be explored, which we hope to do in due course. The general orientation of the project, however, is outlined here : it will be impossible to obtain a history of the constitution of anthropology as a discipline among the social sciences in Brazil without taking into account the continuities and ruptures of a broader process that goes beyond individual biographies and institutional surveys. And it will be difficult to go beyond the merely narrative level of the “influences” suffered by native anthropologists without taking into account the international context and its imbrications. The primary goal of obtaining an answer to the question of whether there is a Brazilian anthropology in addition to an anthropology made in Brazil will depend on the success of further investigation within the programme outlined here, with the support of an infinitely wider range of information than has so far been available to national researchers.

Bibliographical references

Braga, R. 1962. História da Comissão Científica de exploração. Ceará, Imprensa Universitária.

Castro Faria, L. 1942. “A antropologia no Brasil e a tradição do Museu Nacional”, Revista do Brasil, 5 (52).

Corrêa, M. 1982. “As ilusões da liberdade : a escola Nina Rodrigues e a antropologia no Brasil”, mimeo, FFLCH-USP, SP.

Durham, E. R. 1966. “Problemas atuais de antropologia aplicada”, América Latina, January-March.

Durham, E. R. 1982. “Os problemas atuais da pesquisa antropológica no Brasil (antropologia social e cultural)”, Revista de Antropologia (25), São Paulo.

Fernandes, F. 1966. “As ciências sociais na América Latina” em Centro Latino-Americano de Pesquisas em Ciências Sociais, As Ciências Sociais na América Latina, Difusão Européia do Livro, São Paulo.

E. Galvão, 1962. Guia das Exposições. Belém, Museu Paraense E. Goeldi.

Funarte/Instituto Nacional do Folclore, 1983. Mário de Andrade e a Sociedade de Etnografia e Folclore, 1936-1939, Rio de Janeiro/São Paulo.

Lévi-Strauss, C. 1955. Tristes Trópicos, Edições 70, 1979.

Melatti, J. C. 1984. “A antropologia no Brasil : um roteiro”. BIB – Boletim Informativo e Bibliográfico de Ciências Sociais – (17), Rio de Janeiro.

Osterling, J. P. 1983. “Notes for a history of Peruvian social anthropology, 1940-1980”, Current Anthropology, 24 (3).

Peirano, M. 1980. “The anthropology of anthropology : the Brazilian Case”, mimeo, Harvard, Cambridge

dos Santos, W. G. 1978. Ordem burguesa e liberalismo político. São Paulo, Livraria Duas Cidades.

Schaden, Egon & J. B. Borges Pereira, 1967. “Exploração antropológica” in S. B. de Holanda, História Geral da Civilização Brasileira, Tomo II, vol 3. São Paulo, Difusão Européia do Livro.

Velho, O. G. 1980. “Antropologia para sueco ver”, Dados, 23 (1).

Wagley, C. (ed.), 1972. Social Science Research on Latin America, NY/London, Columbia University Press.

Woortmann, K. 1972. “A antropologia brasileira e os estudos de comunidade” Universitas (II), Salvador.

Annex I

Schedule of testimonies recorded in 1984

March 29 | Florestan Fernandes
April 12 | Egon Schaden [34]
May 10 | Thales de Azevedo
May 17 | Egon Schaden
May, 24 | A. Rubbo-Müller
June, 7 | M. Nunes Pereira
September 13 | Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira
September 25 | Oracy Nogueira
October 30 | René Ribeiro
October | Donald Pierson (written statement)
November 20 | Napoleão Figueiredo
December 12 | Round table on the history of anthropology in the context of the social sciences in Brazil : Wanderley Guilherme dos Santos, Sergio Miceli, Eunice R. Durham, Peter H. Fry and M. Manuela Carneiro da Cunha

Annex II

Work procedures and results

The project was only possible thanks to the work of a team, [35] the main core of which were students from Unicamp’s Postgraduate Programme in Social Anthropology. They were supported throughout 1984 by the university’s Events Support Office – which was responsible for transporting many of the guests – and the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for the Improvement of Teaching and Curriculum (LIMEC), which was responsible for the audio and video recordings of the guests’ testimonies. The project’s core team researched the bibliography of each guest, preparing an agenda to cover any gaps in the professors’ presentations, discussing their intellectual and institutional trajectory in research seminars, indexing social scientific journals that have existed in the country since the 1940s and, finally, also indexing the videotaped interviews. During the recording of the testimonies of the professors invited by the project team, around thirty hours of audio tape and around fifteen hours of video were recorded.

The audio testimonies, almost all of which have been transcribed, typed up and sent to their authors for possible corrections, will be edited and published in book form. The video interviews, as well as being kept in their original form for educational purposes, will also be edited and, together with other material relevant to the visual record of the history of anthropology in Brazil, will be incorporated into a film about this history.

In addition to the value of the testimonies in themselves, thanks to the co-operation of the guests, the project will be able to recover a large part of the few existing Anais of the ABA conferences, rare or out-of-print editions of important anthropological works, photographs, collections of letters and other personal documents. Once the work has been completed, this material will be deposited in the Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth at Unicamp’s Institute of Philosophy and Human Sciences, and will be available to anyone interested in consulting it.

[1Project funded by the São Paulo State Research Foundation and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development. Explanatory Note (E.N.) : Transcription of the manuscript and notes by Amanda Gonçalves Serafim – minor grammatical changes have been made for a better understanding of the text [Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth - Fundo Mariza Corrêa – caixa 13]. Originally, this note was linked to the title ; moreover, only it and the note in ’Annex I’ appear in the original document ; all those that follow, and which contain the intials “E.N.”, were produced to help understand the text and the Brazilian anthropological field. Finally, all underlined passages throughout the document have been replaced with emphasis or, in the case of subheadings, bold. This article was translated from Portuguese by Frederico Delgado Rosa and revised by David Tucker.

[2English translation by John Russell (New York, Criterion Books, 1974). In this extract, Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908–2009) mentions only the first names of some of the people who were his students during his time at the University of São Paulo (USP) in the 1930s. Even so, it is possible to surmise a few : Annita de Castilho e Marcondes Cabral (1911–1991), Lavinia Costa Vilela, Gioconda Mussolini (1913–1969), Gilda de Melo e Souza (1919–2005), Lucila Herrmann (1902–1955), Zenith Mendes da Silveira, Egon Schaden (1913–1991), Mario Wagner Vieira da Cunha (1912–2003), Ruy Coelho (1920–1990), Livio Teixeira (1902–1975) and Décio de Almeida Prado (1917–2000).

[3E.N. : Mariza Corrêa refers to the Brazilian translation of Tristes Tropiques, in which the word crianças (children) is used, not jovens (young people). In the original French version, Lévi-Strauss uses the word enfants (children).

[4E.N. : Egon Schaden (1913–1991) graduated in philosophy at USP and was later professor of anthropology at the same institution, developing research in ethnology, predominantly on the Guarani population.

[5E.N. : Gilberto Freyre (1900–1987) was a Brazilian intellectual with extensive output associated with literature, sociology, anthropology and other areas of knowledge. His best-known work, both at home and abroad, is Casa Grande & Senzala (1933), which deals with racial issues in Brazil.

[6E.N. : The series Os Brasileiros was subtitled ’the spoken portrait of a people’ and aired on Rede Manchete television in 1983. The initiative was produced and presented by Brazilian anthropologist Roberto DaMatta and aimed to present the relationship between Brazilian society and social issues and themes such as football, carnival and religion.

[7E.N. : Roberto DaMatta (1936–) is an anthropologist whose career has been developed in Brazil, with emphasis on his work as a professor at the National Museum, and in the USA, with stints at the Universities of Notre Dame and Harvard. He carried out research into Brazilian society and rituals.

[8E.N. : In Brazilian and Portuguese literary parlance, “Lusitanian” means Portuguese.

[9E.N. : This is a reference to the interviews carried out by PHAB with anthropologists who worked in Brazil as part of the project’s research. Annex I contains the work schedule for 1984 and the full names of the interviewees. Throughout the report, Corrêa refers in the same way to interviews with other figures.

[10E.N. : The Museu do Índio is located in Rio de Janeiro and is an institution created in the 1950s. The museum has always been linked to national protection bodies, having been created alongside the Indian Protection Service (SPI), now the National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI). Its aims are to preserve and disseminate material and research on indigenous societies.

[11E.N. : The Paulista Museum was created in 1894 in São Paulo and is better known as the Ipiranga Museum, due to its location. It is linked to USP and in its early years it was a natural history museum, but over time it turned its attention to the history of Brazil. In the mid-1940s, it started to have an ethnography section, which was transferred years later to another university institution, the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (MAE).

[12E.N. : The São Paulo Department of Culture dates back to the 1930s and had the Brazilian writer Mário de Andrade (1893-1945) as its first director, who was also one of the exponents of modernism in the country.

[13E.N. : The Brazilian Centre for Educational Research (CBPE) was created in 1955 as a research institution to carry out research into the culture and diversity of Brazilian society, and to contribute to the educational reform underway in the country.

[14E.N. : Round table organised by PHAB at the State University of Campinas in 1984 on the history of anthropology. The event was attended by Wanderley Guilherme dos Santos (1935–2019), Eunice Durham (1932–2022), Peter Fry (1941–), Sergio Miceli (1945–) and Manuela Carneiro da Cunha (1943–).

[15E.N. : The Free School of Sociology and Politics, now the Foundation School of Sociology and Political Science of São Paulo (Fundação Escola de Sociologia e Política de São Paulo), is São Paulo’s oldest institution in the field of social sciences, founded in 1933.

[16E.N. : This corresponds to the first seven years of military dictatorship in Brazil.

[17E.N. : Florestan Fernandes (1920–1995) was a Brazilian sociologist who carried out research at the beginning of his career on Tupinambá society and later on the formation of Brazilian society. He was also a professor of Sociology at USP, a position held by Roger Bastide (1898–1974).

[18E.N. : Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1931–), sociologist, was assistant to Florestan Fernandes and Roger Bastide at USP, and later professor of political science. He also taught abroad, travelling to France during the Brazilian military dictatorship. He was also president of the Republic of Brazil for two terms, between 1995 and 2002.

[19E.N. : Francisco José de Oliveira Viana (1883–1951) was a Brazilian sociologist and jurist. He is considered one of the ’interpreters of Brazil’, along with other names such as Florestan Fernandes, Gilberto Freyre, Sergio Buarque de Holanda, Darcy Ribeiro, among others. He carried out research into Brazilian national formation and race relations.

[20E.N. : Sergio Buarque de Holanda (1902–1982) was a historian with stints at universities in Brazil and the USA. He was also a professor at USP and director of the Museu Paulista, being responsible for the creation of the institution’s ethnology section. His best-known work is Raízes do Brasil (1936).

[21E.N. : Arthur Ramos (1903–1949) was an anthropologist who carried out research into Afro-Brazilian populations. He founded the Brazilian Society of Anthropology and Ethnology and worked at
the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). To find out more : <> .

[22E.N. : Edgard Roquette-Pinto (1884–1954) was a physician and anthropologist who worked as a professor and director of the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, and produced projects that involved a concern for scientific development and the nation. He was honorary president of the first Brazilian Anthropology Meeting.

[23E.N. : French ethnologist Paul Rivet (1876–1859) worked within the Americanist tradition and lived in South America for five years, especially in Ecuador. He founded the Musée de l’Homme (Paris) in 1937.

[24E.N. : Emilio Willems (1905–1997) was a German sociologist and anthropologist. He taught sociology at the Free School of Sociology and Politics and was also the first professor of anthropology at USP, having actively collaborated in the formation of a generation of anthropologists at the university. After living in the country for almost 20 years, he moved to the USA.

[25E.N. : Swiss-born ethnologist Alfred Métraux (1902–1963) worked extensively in South American and Caribbean contexts. In 1928, he founded the Institute of Ethnology at the National University of Tucumán in Argentina, which he directed until 1934.

[26E..N : Herbert Baldus (1899–1970) : was a German ethnologist who came as a young man and remained in Brazil all his life. He was a professor at the Free School of Sociology and Politics, an employee and director of the Paulista Museum, and also president of the Brazilian Anthropology Association. He carried out research with various indigenous societies in the country.

[27E.N. : American anthropologist Charles Wagley (1913–1991).

[28E.N. : Donald Pierson (1900–1995) was an American sociologist who developed his doctoral thesis on race relations in Bahia. After his research, he taught for more than twenty years at the Escola Livre de Sociologia e Política (Free School of Sociology and Politics). He also developed two major ’community studies’ projects, in Cruz das Almas (in the interior of São Paulo) and in the São Francisco Valley (which encompasses cities in four Brazilian states).

[29E.N. : Thales de Azevedo (1904–1995) has stood out in the history of anthropology since the 1950s, when he was part of a major study on race relations in Brazil sponsored by UNESCO. Azevedo was a politically engaged Catholic whose conservatism was counterbalanced by his sense of social justice. 

[30E.N. : Anísio Teixeira (1900–1971) was a Brazilian jurist, writer and educator. He made important contributions to educational discussions and policies in the country, including Bahia and Rio de Janeiro. He was responsible for the creation of the Brazilian Centre for Educational Research (CBPE).

[31E.N. : Darcy Ribeiro (1922–1997) was a Brazilian anthropologist and politician who worked at the Indian Museum, the Indian Protection Service and the CBPE, as well as at national and foreign universities. He carried out research and published several books on indigenous societies, education, Brazilian society and Latin American identity. He was president of the Brazilian Anthropology Association.

[32E.N. : Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira (1928–2006) was a Brazilian anthropologist who carried out research on the relationship between indigenous groups and national society, and on anthropological practice in Brazil and elsewhere. He was president of the ABA and actively collaborated with the creation of some of the first postgraduate programmes in the country. To find out more : <>.

[33E.N. : Oracy Nogueira (1917–1996) was a Brazilian sociologist, a student of Donald Pierson at the Free School of Sociology and Politics. He worked at ELSP, USP and the Brazilian Centre for Educational Research. His main research topic was race relations in Brazil.

[34Having met with members of the project team in São Paulo, for reasons beyond his control, Professor Egon Schaden was unable to come to Campinas on this date, but was interviewed by the team and gave his recorded testimony on 17 May.

E.N. : Over the course of twenty years, many students and researchers have contributed to PHAB, but of these, four stand out for their work, and they are : Ana Luisa Mello e Silva, Francisco Tadeu Rosa, Luiz Henrique Passador and Maria Helena Ortolan.