Thursday, June 18, 2009

Frank Speck

Frank Speck (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia):
“Frank Gouldsmith Speck (November 8, 1881 – February 6, 1950) was an American anthropologist and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in the Algonquian and Iroquoian peoples among the Eastern Woodland Native Americans of the United States and First Nations peoples of eastern boreal Canada… Born in Brooklyn, Speck was sickly as a child. His parents sent him at age seven to live with a family friend, Fidelia Fielding, in Mohegan, Connecticut in hopes that the rural environment would improve his health. She was a widow and Native American, the last speaker of her New England tribal language. While living with her, Speck acquired "his interests in literature, natural history and Native American linguistics."[1]
When Speck became one of the first students of anthropologist Franz Boas at Columbia University, he found his direction for life study in anthropological linguistics while earning an M.A.[2] He then completed a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Speck was unique among many anthropologists of his generation in choosing to study American Indians rather than people of more distant lands. Because of the changes that had taken place in the 19th century and drastic declines in population, Speck found his work was in part a "salvage operation" to try to capture ethnological material at a time of great stress for the peoples. He started studying Native Americans in Connecticut and the Northeast.[3]
During his fieldwork with the Iroquois, Speck became close to members of the Seneca Nation, who adopted him in honor of their relationship. He was given the name Gahehdagowa ('Great Porcupine') when he was adopted into the Turtle clan of the Seneca people…”
(Wiki also says, "From the 1920s through the 1940s, Speck also studied the Cherokee in the Southeast United States and Oklahoma…) See: Ceremonial songs of the Creek and Yuchi Indians - Google Books Result by Frank Gouldsmith Speck, J. D. Sapir - 1911 - Indians of North America - 89 pages "TURTLE HUNTING MEDICINE. A cold in the lungs, accompanied by coughing and, rather strangely, by sores on the limbs and neck as described by ..."

And some "Turtle Talk" from the "Delaware Big House Ceremony"

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