Marius Barbeau

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1883 – 1969

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Who was Marius Barbeau?

Charles Marius Barbeau, CC FRSC, 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. A Rhodes Scholar, he is best known for an early championing of Québécois folk culture, and for his exhaustive cataloguing of the social organization, narrative and musical traditions, and plastic arts of the Tsimshianic-speaking peoples in British Columbia, and other Northwest Coast peoples. He developed unconventional theories about the peopling of the Americas.

Barbeau is a controversial figure as he was criticised for not representing his indigenous informants. In his anthropological work among the Tsimshian and Huron-Wyandot, for instance, Barbeau was solely looking for “authentic” stories that were without political implications. Informants were often unwilling to work with him for various reasons. It is possible that the "educated informants,” who Barbeau told his students not to work with, did not trust him to disseminate their stories.

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Born
Mar 5, 1883
Sainte-Marie, Quebec
Ethnicity
  • Haida people
Nationality
  • Canada
Education
  • Université Laval
  • Bachelor's degree, University of Oxford
    Anthropology
    (1907 - 1910)
Lived in
  • Ottawa
    ( - 1969/02/27)
Died
Feb 27, 1969
Ottawa

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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