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Encyclopedia > Marius Barbeau
Marius BarbeauCredit: J. Alex Castonguay/Library and Archives Canada/C-034447
Marius Barbeau
Credit: J. Alex Castonguay/Library and Archives Canada/C-034447

Charles Marius Barbeau (March 5, 1883February 27, 1969), also known as C. Marius Barbeau, or more commonly simply Marius Barbeau, was a Canadian ethnographer and folklorist who is today considered a founder of Canadian anthropology. He is best known for an early championing of Québécois folk culture, for his exhaustive cataloguing of the social organization, narrative and musical traditions, and plastic arts of the Tsimshianic-speaking peoples in British Columbia (Tsimshian, Gitksan, and Nisga'a), and for his unconventional theories of the peopling of the Americas. Image File history File links Marius_Barbeau. ... Image File history File links Marius_Barbeau. ... March 5 is the 64th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (65th in leap years). ... 1883 (MDCCCLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... February 27 is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... Ethnography (from the Greek ethnos = nation and graphe = writing) refers to the qualitative description of human social phenomena, based on months or years of fieldwork. ... Folkloristics is the formal academic study of folklore and mythology. ... Motto: Je me souviens (French: I remember) Official languages French Flower Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor Linné) Tree Yellow Birch Bird Snowy Owl Capital Quebec City Largest city Montreal Lieutenant-Governor Lise Thibault Premier Jean Charest (PLQ) Parliamentary representation  - House seat  - Senate seats 75 24 Area Total  - Land  - Water  (% of... Tsimshianic is a family of languages spoken in northern British Columbia and southern Alaska. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Official languages English de facto (none stated in law) Flower Pacific dogwood Tree Western Redcedar Bird Stellers Jay Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Parliamentary representation  - House seat  - Senate seats 36 6 Area... Members of the Tsimshian tribe enjoying a tea party near Fort Simpson, British Columbia, c. ... (pronounced GIT-san) also spelled as Gitxsan pronounced the same. ... Nisgaa flag Mask with open eyes, worn during winter halait ceremonies, 18th–early 19th century The Nisaa (pronounced Nis-gah) are of the First Nations of Canada. ...

Frédéric Charles Joseph Marius Barbeau was born March 5, 1883, in Sainte-Marie de Beauce, Quebec. In 1897 he began studies for the priesthood at the Collège commercial, Frères des Écoles chrétiennes, switched in 1903 to pursuit of a law degree at Université Laval, which he received in 1907, and studied on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University from 1907 to 1910, where he switched to a career in anthropology, studying under R. R. Marett. Université Laval (Laval University) is the oldest centre of education in Canada, and was the first institution in North America to offer higher education in French. ... Rhodes House in Oxford Rhodes Scholarships are the worlds oldest and most prestigious international fellowships. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... R. R. Marett (Robert Ranulph Marett) 1866-1943 was a British ethnologist (Jersey 1866-1943). ...

In 1911 he joined the National Museum of Canada (then part of the Geological Survey of Canada) as an anthropologist, where he remained until his retirement in 1949. (The GSC subdivided in 1920, so that from that point on Barbeau was with the Victoria Memorial Museum, later renamed, in 1927, the National Museum of Canada.) At the beginning, he and Edward Sapir were Canada's first and only two full-time anthropologists. Under those auspices, Barbeau began fieldwork in 1911-1912 with the Huron-Wyandot people around Quebec City, in southern Ontario, and in Oklahoma, mostly collecting stories and songs. National museums of Canada are operated by four Crown corporations, established on July 1, 1990, by the Museums Act (1990): The National Gallery of Canada Corporation, the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, the Canadian Museum of Nature Corporation, and the National Museum of Science and Technology Corporation (now the Canada... The Geological Survey of Canada or GSC is part of the Earth Sciences Sector of Natural Resources Canada. ... The east face of the Victoria Memorial Museum Building The Canadian Museum of Nature (French: Musée canadien de la nature) is a natural history museum in Ottawa, Canada. ... National museums of Canada are operated by four Crown corporations, established on July 1, 1990, by the Museums Act (1990): The National Gallery of Canada Corporation, the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, the Canadian Museum of Nature Corporation, and the National Museum of Science and Technology Corporation (now the Canada... Edward Sapir. ... This article is about the First Nations people, the Wyandot, also known as the Huron. ... Huron redirects here. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Latin: Loyal she began, loyal she remains) Official languages English Flower White Trillium Tree Eastern White Pine Bird Common Loon Capital Toronto Largest city Toronto Lieutenant-Governor James K. Bartleman Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) Parliamentary representation  - House seat  - Senate seats 106 24 Area Total... Official language(s) None Capital Oklahoma City Largest city Oklahoma City Area  Ranked 20th  - Total 69,960 sq mi (181,196 km²)  - Width 230 miles (370 km)  - Length 298 miles (fBlack Mesa Mountain]][2] km)  - % water 1. ...

In 1913 the German-American anthropologist Franz Boas, then of the American Folklore Society (AFS), convinced Barbeau to specialize in French Canadian folklore, and Barbeau began collecting such material the following year. In 1918 Barbeau became president of the AFS. Barbeau's fieldwork and writings on all aspects of French Canadian creative expression led to numerous popular and scholarly publications and are credited with contributing significantly to the rise of Québécois nationalism in the late 20th century. Franz Boas Franz Boas (July 9, 1858 – December 21, 1942[1]) was one of the pioneers of modern anthropology and is often called the Father of American Anthropology. Born in Germany, Boas worked for most of his life in North America. ... The American Folklore Society is the scholarly association of all folklorists in the United States. ...

In 1914 Barbeau married Marie Larocque. Beginning in December of that same year, Barbeau carried out three months' fieldwork in Lax Kw'alaams (a.k.a. Port Simpson), British Columbia, the largest Tsimshian village in Canada, in collaboration with his interpreter, William Beynon, a Tsimshian hereditary chief. The anthropologist Wilson Duff (who in the late 1950s was entrusted by Barbeau with organizing the information) has called these three months "one of the most productive field seasons in the history of [North] American anthropology," and it led to a decades-long collaboration between Barbeau and Beynon and an enormous volume of fieldnotes, still mostly unpublished -- which Duff has characterized as "the most complete body of information on the social organization of any Indian nation." Barbeau eventually trained Beynon in phonetic transcription, and he became an ethnological fieldworker in his own right. Barbeau and Beynon followed this up with 1923-1924 fieldwork on the middle Skeena River with the Kitselas and Kitsumkalum Tsimshians and the Gitksan, and 1927 and 1929 field seasons among the Nisga'a of the Nass River. Lax Kwalaams, usually called Port Simpson, is a First Nations village community in British Columbia, Canada, not far from the city of Prince Rupert. ... Members of the Tsimshian tribe enjoying a tea party near Fort Simpson, British Columbia, c. ... William Beynon (1888-1958) was a hereditary chief from the Tsimshian nation (British Columbia, Canada) and an oral historian who served as ethnographer, translator, and linguistic consultant to many anthropologists. ... Wilson Duff was a Canadian anthropologist known for his research on Northwest Coast cultures, especially the Tsimshian, Gitksan, and Haida, and especially for his interest in their plastic arts, such as totem poles. ... The Skeena River is on the north coast of British Columbia, passing through Terrace. ... Kitselas (or Gitsilaasü) is one of the 14 tribes of the Tsimshian nation of British Columbia, Canada. ... Kitsumkalum is one of the 14 tribes of the Tsimshian nation of British Columbia, Canada, and is also the name of their Indian Reserve just west of the city of Terrace, British Columbia, where the Kitsumkalum River flows into the Skeena River. ... (pronounced GIT-san) also spelled as Gitxsan pronounced the same. ... Nisgaa flag Mask with open eyes, worn during winter halait ceremonies, 18th–early 19th century The Nisaa (pronounced Nis-gah) are of the First Nations of Canada. ... The Nass River is a river in northern British Columbia, Canada. ...

In 1922 Barbeau became the founding Secretary of the Canadian Historical Association. The Canadian Historical Association (French Société historique du Canada) is a Canadian organization founded in 1922 for the purposes of promoting historical research and scholarship. ...

In 1942 he began lecturing at Laval and at the University of Ottawa. In 1945 he was made a Professor at Laval. He retired in 1954, after suffering a stroke. The University of Ottawa or Université dOttawa in French (also known as uOttawa or nicknamed U of O or Ottawa U) is a bilingual [1], research-intensive, non-denominational, international university in Ottawa, Ontario. ...

Barbeau also did brief fieldwork with the Tlingit, Haida, Tahltan, Kwakwaka'wakw, and other Northwest Coast groups, though always remaining focused on the Tsimshian, Gitksan, and Nisga'a. Mostly he became more and more concerned in synthesizing the various migration traditions of these peoples and correlating them with the distribution of culture traits to try to reconstruct a sequence for the peopling of the Americas. Although he was an early champion of the theory of migration from Siberia across the Bering Strait, for which he has since been vindicated by science, far more controversial was his contention that the Tsimshianic-speaking peoples and Haida and Tlingit represented the most recent migration into the New World from Siberia, that in fact these peoples' ancestors were refugees from Genghis Khan's conquests, some as recently as a few centuries ago. In works such as the unpublished "Migration Series" manuscripts, the book Alaska Beckons, and numerous articles with titles like "How Asia Used to Drip at the Spout into America" and "Buddhist Dirges on the North Pacific Coast," he eventually antagonized many of his contemporaries on this question and his position is now quite discredited, though he did, under Beynon's influence, pioneer the now somewhat respectable view that the region's oral histories of migration have real historiographic value. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The Haida are an indigenous people of the west coast of North America. ... Tahltan (also Nahanni) refers to a Northern Athabaskan people that live in northern British Columbia around Telegraph Creek, Dease Lake, and Iskut. ... Kwakwakawakw (also Kwakiutl, pronounced Kwa-gyu-thl) is a term used to describe a group of Canadian First Nations people, numbering about 5,500, who live in British Columbia on northern Vancouver Island and the mainland. ... Siberian Federal District (dark red) and the broadest definition of Siberia (red) Udachnaya pipe Siberia (Russian: , Sibir; Tatar: ) is a vast region of Russia constituting almost all of Northern Asia. ... Satellite photo of the Bering Strait Nautical chart of the Bering Strait The Bering Strait fags is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, Russia, the easternmost point (169°43 W) of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, the westernmost point (168°05 W) of the American continent...   or Temüjin by birthname, (c. ...

Likewise, though he was an early proponent of recognizing totem poles as world-class high art, his view that they are a post-contact artistic development has also been decisively disproven.

He was an immensely prolific writer, producing both scholarly articles and monographs and books which presented Québécois and First Nations oral traditions for a more mass audience. Examples include The Downfall of Temlaham -- which weaves ancient Gitksan oral traditions with contemporary contact history -- and The Golden Phoenix and other collections for children of French Canadian folk and fairy tales.

In 1950 he won the Royal Society of Canada's Lorne Pierce Medal. In 1967 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Lorne Pierce Medal is awarded every two years by the Royal Society of Canada to recognize achievement of special significance and conspicuous merit in imaginative or critical literature written in either English or French. ... 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... Seal of the Order of Canada The Order of Canada is Canadas highest civilian honour, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the Orders Latin motto Desiderantes meliorem patriam, which means (those) desiring a better country. ...

He died February 27, 1969, in Ottawa.

His extensive personal papers are housed in the National Museum of Man, which was renamed in 1986 the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Categories: Museums in Canada | Ottawa buildings | Canadian federal departments and agencies ...

In 1969, Barbeau Peak, the highest mountain in Nunavut, was named after him. Barbeau Peak, on Ellesmere Island, is the highest mountain in Nunavut. ... Motto: Nunavut Sannginivut (Inuktitut: Nunavut our strength or Our land our strength) Official languages Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, English, French Capital Iqaluit Largest city Iqaluit Commissioner Ann Meekitjuk Hanson Premier Paul Okalik (independent) Parliamentary representation  - House seat  - Senate seats 1 Nancy Karetak-Lindell 1 Willie Adams Area Total  â€¢ Land  â€¢ Water    (% of total...

In 2005, Marius Barbeau's broadcasts and ethnological recordings were honoured as a MasterWork by the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada.

Selected works

  • (1915) Huron and Wyandot Mythology. Ottawa: Geological Survey of Canada.
  • (1923) Indian Days in the Canadian Rockies. Illustrated by W. Langdon Kihn. Toronto: Macmillan.
  • (with Edward Sapir) (1925) Folksongs of French Canada. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • (1928) The Downfall of Temlaham. Toronto: Macmillan.
  • (1929) Totem Poles of the Gitksan, Upper Skeena River, British Columbia. Ottawa: National Museums of Canada.
  • (1933) "How Asia Used to Drip at the Spout into America." Washington Historical Quarterly, vol. 24, pp. 163-173.
  • (1934) Au Coeur de Québec. Montréal: Zodiaque.
  • (1934) Cornelius Krieghoff: Pioneer Painter of North America. Toronto: Macmillan.
  • (1934) La merveilleuse aventure de Jacques Cartier. Montréal: A. Levesque.
  • (1935) Grand'mère raconte. Montréal: Beauchemin.
  • (1935) Il était une fois. Montréal: Beauchemin.
  • (1936) The Kingdom Saguenay. Toronto: Macmillan.
  • (1936) Québec, ou survit l'ancienne France (Quebec: Where Ancient France Lingers.) Québec City: Garneau.
  • (with Marguerite and Raoul d'Harcourt) (1937) Romanceros du Canada. Montréal: Beauchemin.
  • (1942) Maîtres artisans de chez-nous. Montréal: Zodiaque.
  • (1942) Les Rèves des chasseurs. Montréal: Beauchemin.
  • (with Grace Melvin) (1943) The Indian Speaks. Toronto: Macmillan.
  • (with Rina Lasnier) (1944) Madones canadiennes. Montréal: Beauchemin.
  • (1944) Mountain Cloud. Toronto: Macmillan.
  • (1944-1946) Saintes artisanes. 2 vols. Montréal: Fides.
  • (1945) "The Aleutian Route of Migration into America." Geographical Review, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 424-443.
  • (1945) "Bear Mother." Journal of American Folklore, vol. 59, no. 231, pp. 1-12.
  • (1945) Ceinture flechée. Montréal: Paysana.
  • (1946) Alouette! Montréal: Lumen.
  • (1947) Alaska Beckons. Toronto: Macmillan.
  • (1947) L'Arbre des rèves (The Tree of Dreams). Montréal: Thérrien.
  • (1950; reissued 1990) Totem Poles. 2 vols. (Anthropology Series 30, National Museum of Canada Bulletin 119.) Ottawa: National Museum of Canada. Reprinted, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec, 1990.
  • (1952) "The Old-World Dragon in America." In Indian Tribes of Aboriginal America: Selected Papers of the XXIXth International Congress of Americanists, ed. by Sol Tax, pp. 115-122. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • (1953) Haida Myths. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada.
  • (1954) "'Totemic Atmosphere' on the North Pacific Coast." Journal of American Folklore, vol. 67, pp. 103-122.
  • (1957) Haida Carvers in Argillite. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada.
  • (1957) J'ai vu Québec. Québec City: Garneau.
  • (ed.) (1958) The Golden Phoenix and Other Fairy Tales from Quebec. Retold by Michael Hornyansky. Toronto: Oxford University Press.
  • (1958) Medicine-Men on the North Pacific Coast. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada.
  • (1958) Pathfinders in the North Pacific. Toronto: Ryerson.
  • (et al.) (1958) Roundelays: Dansons à la Ronde. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada.
  • (1960) Indian Days on the Western Prairies. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada.
  • (1961) Tsimsyan Myths. (Anthropological Series 51, National Museum of Canada Bulletin 174.) Ottawa: Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources.
  • (1962) Jongleur Songs of Old Quebec. Rutgers University Press.
  • (1965-1966) Indiens d'Amérique. 3 vols. Montréal: Beauchemin.
  • (1968) Louis Jobin, statuaire. Montréal: Beauchemin.

The Gispwudwada (variously spelled) is the name for the Killerwhale (or Blackfish) clan (phratry) in the language of the Tsimshian nation of British Columbia, Canada, and southeast Alaska. ... Totem poles are carved from great trees, most often Western Redcedar, along the Pacific coast of North America. ... Portrait of Jacques Cartier by Théophile Hamel, ca. ...


  • Cove, John J. (1985) A Detailed Inventory of the Barbeau Northwest Coast Files. (National Museum of Man Mercury Series, Canadian Centre for Folk Culture Studies, Paper 54.) Ottawa: National Museums of Canada.
  • Duff, Wilson (1964) "Contributions of Marius Barbeau to West Coast Ethnology." Anthropologica (new series), vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 63-96.
  • MacDonald, George F., and John J. Cove (eds.) (1987) Tsimshian Narratives. Collected by Marius Barbeau and William Beynon. (Canadian Museum of Civilization Mercury Series, Directorate Paper 3.) 2 vols. Ottawa: Directorate, Canadian Museum of Civilization.
  • Nowry, Laurence (1995) Marius Barbeau, Man of Mana: A Biography. Toronto: NC Press.
  • Slaney, Frances M. (2000) "Working for a Canadian Sense of Place(s): The Role of Landscape Painters in Marius Barbeau's Ethnology." In Excluded Ancestors, Inventible Traditions: Essays toward a More Inclusive History of Anthropology, ed. by Richard Handler, pp. 81-122. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

External links

  • Marius Barbeau : A Canadian Hero and His Era
  • Marius Barbeau at The Canadian Encyclopedia
  • AVTrust.ca - Marius Barbeau (contains video recording)

  Results from FactBites:
C. Marius Barbeau and the Origins of Controversy (1950 words)
Barbeau was trained as an anthropologist and hired by the National Museum to study native Indian cultures in 1911.
Barbeau therefore rejected the ballad-making process as he found it among rural Quebecois as a means of understanding the circumstances which had produced the European French ballads he collected.
Barbeau was unable to abandon the idea that these ballads had been composed by individuals with some formal education, and he continued to study the Middle Ages.
  More results at FactBites »



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