This collection encapsulates Bascom’s research during his lifetime, where he predominantly focused on the Yoruba culture and
religion within Nigeria. In addition to objects, there are photographs and motion pictures by Bascom. The collection is predominantly
in English, though notes are in French and German as well. PAHMA continued to receive Bascom’s collection and work after his
death, resulting in accession dates that surpassed him. As a result, collection dates are when PAHMA received the objects,
not when originally collected. The accession files will state when the objects were collected and from where. Accompanying
letters and materials can be found at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. For more information on specific
accessions and information on the Bancroft collection, see attached finding aid pdf. For information about individual objects
within the collection, follow the "Online Items URL".
William Russell Bascom was born on May 23, 1912 in Princeton, Illinois, and died on September 11, 1981 in San Francisco, California.
Bascom received his B.A.in 1933 from the University of Wisconsin (Physics), his M.A. in 1936 from the University of Wisconsin
(Anthropology), and his Ph.D. in 1939 from Northwestern University (Anthropology). Bascom specialized in the art and culture
of West Africa and the African Diaspora, and is especially known for his studies of Nigerian Yoruba culture and religion.
In 1954, Bascom crafted the “four functions of folklore.” He was the Director of the Robert H. Lowie Museum (present-day Phoebe
A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology) at the University of California, Berkeley from 1957 to 1979.
Call Numbers: Acc.1271, Acc.1301, Acc.1370, Acc.1477, Acc.1484, Acc.1656, Acc.1683, Acc.1770, Acc.1807, Acc.1890, Acc.1950,
Acc.2058, Acc.2059, Acc.2063, Acc.2067, Acc.2115, Acc.2148, Acc.2205, Acc.2256, Acc.2277, Acc.2281, Acc.2285, Acc.2303, Acc.2308,
Acc.2354, Acc.2460, Acc.2580, Acc.2731, Acc.2818, Acc.2819, Acc.2916, Acc.2924, Acc.2933, Acc.2988, Acc.3023, Acc.3072, Acc.3100,
Acc.3170, Acc.3193, Acc.3274, Acc.3365, Acc.3367, Acc.3446, Acc.3515, Acc.3589, Acc.4614, Acc.4659, Acc.4661, Acc.4677, Acc.4685,
Acc.4692, Acc.4696. Note: languages in accessions include English, French, and German, though most are written in English.
Objects are from Africa, predominantly from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya; from the Yoruba culture/religion and Ashanti religion;
wire recordings from Cuba and pots bought in Teotihuacan, Mexico.
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