Skip to Search

A Guide to the Charles Wagley Papers

Finding aid prepared by Dept. Staff

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections

August 2004

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wagley, Charles, 1913-
Creator: Galvão, Eduardo Enéas.
Title: Charles Wagley Papers
Dates: 1937-1965
Abstract: The Wagley Papers document anthropological field work in the cultures of South America, especially Guatemala and Brazil.
Extent: 5.2 Linear feet. 12 boxes.
Identification: Ms Coll. 002
Language(s): English
Online ContentItems from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the UF Digital Collections. For more information please see the note below.

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Wagley was born November 9, 1913 at Clarksville, Texas. He received his doctorate from Columbia University in 1941. He served as Professor of Anthropology, Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and director of the Institute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University. He was a staff member of the Institute of Inter-American Affairs, Brazilian Field Party and held several positions, including directorships, with various programs to the Brazilian-American Public Health Service. He worked with the Guggenheim Foundation, the Social Science Research Council and was the Graduate Research Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. In 1982-1983 he was named the University of Florida's Teacher/Scholar of the Year.

Dr. Wagley spent months living and doing research with the Tapirape and in 1977 published Welcome of Tears; the Tapirape Indians of Central Brazil as a result of his research. Contained in the collection are translations of Herbert Baldus' articles on the Tapirape plus transcripts of the 1941 Seminar on Culture and Personality. This seminar took place at Columbia University and was directed by Abraham Kardiner and Ralph Linten. Dr. Wagley was fresh from studying the Tapirape Indians when he took part in these discussions. During World War II, the United States government and the Brazilian public health agency, SESP, implemented health education programs in the Amazon region. Dr. Wagley supervised the publication of pamphlets and production of slide programs on public health funded by these agencies. The novelist, Dalcidio Jurandir, who collaborated with Dr. Wagley on these programs, had served as secretary to the municipal government of a small riverine community called Gurupa. Jurandir suggested that the educational materials be tried there, and consequently, Dr. Wagley and his team visited Gurupa several times. This was Dr. Wagley's first contact with the region. After the war, when Dr. Wagley was Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology at Columbia, a Brazilian colleague, Eduardo Galvao who had conducted research among the Tentehara Indians of Brazil, became Dr. Wagley's first doctoral student. In 1948, they went to Gurupa for research, accompanied by their wives, Cecilia Toxo Wagley and Clara Galvao. The four spent the months from June to September in the town. Two major works resulted: Amazon Town by Charles Wagley and The Religion of an Amazon Community by Eduardo Galvao. These books were published in Portuguese as Uma Communidade Amazonica and Santos e Visagens.

Scope and Content

This collection contains field notes, maps, drawings, correspondence, publications, and photographs of three research projects undertaken by Dr. Charles Wagley between 1937 and 1965. The earliest research project documented in the collection took place in Guatemala in 1938. Very little is known about this project and the field notes are not sorted.

The bulk of the Tapirape research took place in 1939-1940 although Dr. Wagley also returned in 1953, 1957 and 1965. Field notes for the 1939-40, 1957 and 1965 visits are a part of the collection. Information from both the Tapirape and Gurupa field notebooks has been typed onto cards that are filed by subject and keyed back to the handwritten books. The cards in both project files are arranged alphabetically by English or Portuguese language subject. Within the subject areas the cards are arranged by author (in the case of Gurupa only) and then by notebook number and page. The following is the key to the author designations on the Gurupa cards:

  • Charles Wagley (CW)
  • Cecilia Wagley (C)
  • Clara Galvao (CL)
  • Eduardo Galvao (G)

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research. The user is asked to treat with special care the notebooks and unsorted notes. They are brittle and therefore very fragile.

Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles Wagley Papers, University Archives, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The Papers were donated to the University Archives by Charles Wagley.

In 2018, 55 photographs of Dr. Wagley's retirement party were brought to University Archives and were added to this collection in 2019.

Contents List

General Project Files.

Box Folder
11 Correspondence. 1958, 1962
12 Health Report, Fortaleza, Brazil. April 25, 1944
13 "The Maya and the Aztecs".
14 The Meaning of Poverty.
15 Manuscript "A Tapirape Comes of Age".

Guatemala Project Files.

Box Folder
16 Census Material. 1937
17 Correspondence. 1938, 1947
18-10 Field Notes.
111 La Farge, Oliver, Notes.

Gurupa Project Files.

Box Folder
112 Correspondence. 1948-1949
113 Field Notes, unsorted. n.d.
114 Field Notes, Agriculture (land, ownership, beliefs), Section 1. 1948
115 Field Notes, Biographies, Section 2. 1948
116 Field Notes, Children--Feeding and Care, Section 3. 1948
117 Field Notes, Church, Brotherhood Festivals, Section 4. 1948
21 Field Notes, Community - Zones of Influence, Section 5. 1948
22 Field Notes, Courtship, Marriage, Adultery, Section 6. 1948
23 Field Notes, Death/Burial, Section 7. 1948
24 Field Notes, Demography/Statistics, Section 8. 1948
25 Field Notes, Dolphins, Section 9. 1948
26 Field Notes, Economy/Cost of Living, Section 10. 1948
27 Field Notes, Extractive Industry, Section 11. 1948
28 Field Notes, Fertility/Mortality, Section 12. 1948
29 Field Notes, Festivals, Profane, Section 13. 1948
210 Field Notes, Folklore - Stories, Section 14. 1948
211 Field Notes, General, Section 15. 1948
212 Field Notes, History, Section 16. 1948
213 Field Notes, Hunting/Fishing, Section 17. 1948
214 Field Notes, Livestock, Section 18. 1948
215 Field Notes, Manioc Flour Preparation/Diet and Recipes, Section 19. 1948
216 Field Notes, Menstration, Section 20. 1948
217 Field Notes, Panema/Karowara, Section 21. 1948
218 Field Notes, Police (fights and crimes), Section 22. 1948
219 Field Notes, Politics, Section 23. 1948
220 Field Notes, Pregnancy and Childbirth, Section 24. 1948
221 Field Notes, Prejudice (class-color sayings), Section 25. 1948
222 Field Notes, Racial Groups (Jews, Blacks), Section 26. 1948
223 Field Notes, Remedies/Folk Medicine, Section 27. 1948
224 Field Notes, Schools, Section 28. 1948
225 Field Notes, Sex (masturbation, intercourse, homosexuality), Section 29. 1948
226 Field Notes, Shamans, Section 30. 1948
227 Field Notes, Supernatural Beings, Section 31. 1948
31 Field Notes, Virginity/Prostitutes, Section 32. 1948
32 Field Notes, Witchcraft, Section 32. 1948
33-19 Notebooks, Volumes 1-10. 1948
41-4 Notebooks, Volumes 11-13. 1948
45 Publications. 1946, 1948
46-9 Questionnaires. 1948

Tapirape Project Files.

Box Folder
410-11 Baldus, Herbert Dr., Articles.
51 Drawings - Body Paint by Antenor Leitas de Carralho.
52 Drawings - Children. 1965
53 Drawings - Welcome of Tears.
54 Field Notes - A. 1939-1940
55 Field Notes - B, C. 1939-1940
56 Field Notes - D, E, F, G. 1939-1940
57 Field Notes - H, I, J. 1939-1940
58 Field Notes - K, L. 1939-1940
59 Field Notes - M, N, O. 1939-1940
61 Field Notes - P. 1939-1940
62 Field Notes - Q, R, S. 1939-1940
63 Field Notes - T, U, V. 1939-1940
64 Field Notes - W, X, Y, Z. 1939-1940
65-11 Notebooks, Volumes 1-7. 1939-1940
71-2 Notebooks, Volumes 8-9. 1939-1940
73-4 Notebooks, Appendum AB. 1939-1940
75 Notebook, Volume 1. 1957
76-8 Notebook, Volumes 1-3. 1965
79 Photographs.
710 Photographs, Welcome of Tears.
711-15 Seminar on Culture Personality, Columbia University. April 17-May 15, 1941
716 Miscellaneous Field Notes, Drafts, Reprints, Food Taboo Charts.

Other Materials.

8 Photographic Negatives, mostly images of Tapirape, Numbers 1-600.
9 Audio Cassettes, 2, - Interview of Tapirape man by an unidentified woman - Interview conducted in Portuguese (digitally reformatted in May 2004).
9 Photographic Contact Prints, Numbers 1-600.
10 Photographic Negatives with corresponding contact prints, numbers 653-1020.
11 "INDIOS E CABOCLOS": A Memoir with Charles Wagley, video cassette.
11 Looking Through the Kaleidoscope: Essays in Honor of Charles Wagley, publication.
11 Indios e Caboclos: Charles Wagley's Amazon Portrait, pamphlet.
11 Other photographs and miscellaneous materials on Tapirape.
11 Miscellaneous.

Box Folder
111-7 Prints (Negative Numbers 1-199).
128-16 Prints (Negative Numbers 201-466).
1217 Prints (Negative Numbers 528-28-734).
1218 Prints: Tapirape. 1960 and 1965
1219 Prints: Tenetehara Shamans.
1220 Prints: Other Indian Groups.
1221 Prints: Unidentified. n.d.
1222 Prints: Tapirape, Tampitawa Village. 1939-1940
1223 55 color photographs of Charles Wagley's retirement party. Includes CD of digital copies of retirement party photographs.. Unknown

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Brazil -- Gurupá (Pará).
Indians of South America.
Tapirapé Indians.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

University of Florida Home Page