Notes on ‘totemism’ by Edward Burnett Tylor

Notes on ‘totemism’ by Edward Burnett Tylor
Accession number: 
Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Tylor Papers, Box 9, Item 9 (insert): notes on ‘Totemism[,] Haidas & c.’ ( fols.4r–6r)
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

Handwritten notes on the subject of totemism by Professor Edward Burnett Tylor, headed ‘Totemism[,] Haidas & c.’ The notes include bibliographic references and appear to to be preparatory material for a scholarly article on the subject of totemism subsequently published by Edward B. Tylor, ‘Remarks on Totemism, with Especial Reference to Some Modern Theories Respecting It’, The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 28 (1899), pp.138–148.


Exhibition caption: ‘The earliest thoughts of bringing a totem pole to Oxford came in 1897, when Edward Burnett Tylor, Keeper of the University Museum, saw the celebrated example which had been erected in the grounds of Foxwarren, in Surrey, brought to England from Canada some years earlier. The evidence shows that from this time Tylor made considerable efforts to acquire a similar item for the University, noting that “there is a place in this Museum exactly suited to a fine pole of 40 ft or even more, and I am much set on getting one.”’ Source: ‘Star House Pole: Early Images of the Haida Totem Pole in the Pitt Rivers Museum’, exhibition curated by Philip Grover, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, 9 June to 28 September 2014.