International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

Giacometti, Michel (1929-1990)

Coordinated by Luísa Tiago de Oliveira

Departamento de História, Iscte-IUL

Born in Ajaccio/Corsica (France) in 1929, ethnographer Michel Giacometti lived most of his life in Portugal, where he died in 1990. Often carried out in collaboration, the main scope of his praxis was the collection of Portuguese folk music, which he edited and disseminated in various media, from cassette recordings to books, from radio to television shows. Interested in other fields, from oral literature to traditional medicine, from folk art to material culture, Giacometti was not a past-oriented salvage ethnographer and nation-builder, but a revolutionary at heart. Following the “Carnation Revolution” of 1974, he extended his collecting activities to new forms of public expression in democratic Portugal, such as political mural paintings and pamphlets. The vast materials composing his legacy may be found in various institutions, including the Museu do Trabalho Michel Giacometti, in Setubal.

Keywords: Ethnomusicology | Salvage ethnography | Communism | 20th century | Portugal | Labour

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