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Beckwith, Martha Warren (19 January 1871–28 January 1959), educator, folklorist, and ethnographer, was born in Wellesley Heights, Massachusetts, the daughter of George Ely Beckwith and Harriet Winslowe Goodale, schoolteachers. Beckwith was the grandniece of Lucy Goodale Thurston, one of the first company of Congregational missionaries to the island of Hawaii, and Beckwith’s father had spent sixteen years in Hawaii before she was born, working as a missionary and a teacher, and then as manager of a sugar plantation. In 1874 the Beckwiths moved back to Hawaii. There Beckwith was introduced to the “cousins” society, a group formed by the descendants of the early missionaries, most of whom had intermarried, producing an intricate web of family relations. Beckwith was adopted immediately into the cousins society, through which she developed an interest in their history and in the legends and culture of early Hawaii....

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Day, Caroline Stewart Bond (18 November 1889–05 May 1948), anthropologist and college teacher, was born in Montgomery, Alabama, the daughter of Georgia Fagain and Moses Stewart. She was a light-skinned mulatto of African-American, Native-American, and European descent. The Stewart family lived several years in Boston, Massachusetts, where Caroline attended public schools. After her father’s death, Caroline and her mother moved to Tuskegee, Alabama, where Georgia Stewart taught school and married John Percy Bond, a life insurance executive. The couple had two children, and Caroline adopted Bond’s name. She attended Tuskegee Institute and in 1912 earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Atlanta University. She taught English at Alabama State College in Montgomery for a year and then worked for the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in Montclair, New Jersey. In 1916 she began studying English and classical literature at Radcliffe College of Harvard University, earning a second bachelor’s degree in 1919. At Radcliffe she impressed anthropology professor ...

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Hewett, Edgar Lee (23 November 1865–31 December 1946), educator and anthropologist, was born in Warren County, Illinois, the son of Harvey Hanson Hewett and Tabitha Stice. Although originally a participant in the California gold rush of 1849, Hewett’s father eventually became a farmer in Illinois, where he also raised stock and later engaged in land speculation in Chicago. Hewett’s mother’s family had befriended Chief ...

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Murdock, George Peter (11 May 1897–29 March 1985), anthropologist, "totemic ancestor" of cross-cultural research, and university professor, anthropologist, “totemic ancestor” of cross-cultural research, and university professor, was born near Meriden, Connecticut, the son of George Bronson Murdock and Harriett Elizabeth Graves, farmers. As an adult, Murdock enjoyed telling how his boyhood experience behind an ox-driven plow had prepared him for the study of subsistence techniques in his career in anthropology. He received an A.B. with honors in history from Yale University in 1919, after a tour of duty in World War I as an army first lieutenant in field artillery, and he competed that same year in the national Forest Hills tennis tournament. Admitted to Harvard Law School and influenced by undergraduate courses with sociologist Albert G. Keller, he undertook a year-long trip through Asia and Europe and decided on a more adventurous career in anthropology. When ethnologist ...

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James R. Murie. Courtesy of the Nebraska State Historical Society.

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Murie, James Rolfe (1862–18 November 1921), teacher, farmer, and ethnographer, was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, the son of a Skiri Pawnee—the other Pawnee bands were the Pitahawirata, Kitkahahki, and Chawi—only known as Anna Marie. Shortly thereafter he was abandoned by his father, James Murie, a Scot captain in Major Frank North’s U.S. Army Pawnee scout battalion....