The Benson Latin American Collection

Joseph Graessle Moore Papers, 1948-1979

Descriptive Summary

Creator Moore, Joseph Graessle, 1904-
Title Joseph Graessle Moore Papers
Dates: 1948-1979
Abstract The research and writings of anthropologist Joseph Graessle Moore document African language and culture, Kumina, and revival in Jamaica.
Accession No. 1985-02
OCLC Record No. N/A
Extent 1 linear foot, 25 tape recordings
Language English
Repository Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Joseph Graessle Moore received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Northwestern University in 1954. He died on 31 August 1983.

Scope and Contents Note

Notebooks, written works, collected articles, audiotapes and film comprise the research papers of anthropologist Dr. Joseph Graessle Moore. Much of the material was collected in 1950-1951 as field research for Moore's doctorate. The notebooks provide introductory information and transcripts of interviews on the subjects of Kumminah (Kumina), revival, and life stories from Jamaica. Written works include manuscripts and published articles by Moore on subjects of African religion, acculturation, folklore, and language in Jamaica. Collected articles are on similar topics. Audiovisual materials include cassette tapes of talks and examinations of African language and recordings of Kumina. Originally part of the collection, a set of films was transferred to the Library of Congress years ago for preservation and has not yet been returned.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply. Use of some audiovisual materials may be restricted due to preservation concerns.

Index Terms

The Joseph Graessle Moore Papers are classified under the following Subject Headings in the University of Texas Libraries catalog:
Moore, Joseph Graessle, 1904- --Archives
Kumina (cult)--Jamaica

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Joseph Graessle Moore Papers, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

Box and Folder Inventory


Notebooks, c.1950s

Notebooks include introductory narrative and transcripts of recordings for each subject listed.
box folder
1 1-4 Kumminah
5 Life Stories
box folder
2 1-2 Revival


Written Works, 1950s-1979

2 Manuscript Works
3 Dissertation Materials: "A Study of Religion Among the Jamaicans of St. Thomas' Parish," "Religion Among Jamaicans With African Ancestors: A Study of Afro-American Acculturation," various, N.d.
4 Course Outline and Bibliography for Pastoral Tehology 51: Cultural Dynamics and the Church, N.d.
5 "Folklore in the Land of the Ashanti," N.d.
6 "The People of Ashanti," N.d.
Reprint and Published Works
7-8 "A Comparative Study of Acculturation in Morant Bay and West Kingston, Jamaica," offprints from Zaire #9-10 (Nov.-Dec. 1957) and #1 (1958); also issues of Zaire itself.
9 "Music and Dance as Expressions of Religious Worship in Jamaica," chapter 13 of African Religious Groups and Beliefs section of The Performing Arts: Music and Dance, edited by John Blacking and Joann W. Kealiinohomoku. The Hague, New York: Mouton, 1979.
10 "Religious Syncretism in Jamaica," reprint from Practical Anthropology, vol. 12 #2 (Mar-Apr. 1965), pp. 63-70.


Collected Works, 1948-1957, N.d.

box folder
2 11 1. Bascom, William R. [?] "African and New World Negro Folklore," pp. 18-24 (article from an encyclopedia on religion?). "Compliments of William Bascom" handwritten in upper right corner.
2. Bascom, William R. "The Focus of Cuban Santería." Reprint from Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, vol. 6 #1 (Spring 1950), pp. 64-68.
3. Bascom, William R. "Two Forms of Afro-Cuban Divination." Reprint from Acculturation in the Americas, Proceedings of the 29th International Congress of Americanists, vol. 2. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959, pp. [169]—179.
4. Black, Clinton V. "Living Names in Jamaica's History." (Caribbean Home Library) Kingston, Jamaica Welfare. Contents: Moses Baker, Richard Hill, Mary Seacole, Wm. Menzie Webb, Andrew Duffus Mowatt, Wm. James Gordon.
5. Busia, K.A. "Africa in Transition; a social anthropological observation." World Council of Churches, Dept. on Church and Society, Division of Studies. Project Papers on the Common Christian Responsibility Toward Areas of Rapid Social Change, #10 (Sept. 1957).
6. Coelho, Ruy. "The Black Caribs of Central America: A Problem in Three-Way Acculturation."
7. Dallas, R.C. "History of the Maroons Printed in 1803," vol. 2, p. 393 (Moore’s transcription).
8. Herskovits, M.J. "Language the Vehicle of Culture." Mimeographed draft of Chapter 26 of his "Cultural Anthropology" to be published by Knopf, 1948.
12 Narrative for documentary film on religions in Jamaica (script for Charles Collinwood). Photocopy.


Audiovisual Materials, 1950s-1978

3 Cassette Tape Recordings
1 African Language Series: African Words "C", grammar then begins ABCs
2 Beginning study of African language and Jamaican country dialect, Aaron Gordon and Joe Moore, 1950
3 African Language Series: Opening conversation with Aaron Gorden and Clarence Bell, initial talk about words and word order, some words completing A through C
4 African Grammar: Beginning sentence structure, some grammar, some vocabulary
5 Last part of words on C
6 Some dialect, some Bilah
7 Cumina, Morant Bay, beginning work on African Language, 1950
8 Cumina, Gordon Bell, 2 Bilas: Long bag of money, Oh Congo man
9 Cumina cult songs
10 Cumina bilah, 2 long ballads
11 Jamaican Cumina Revival / Mixed bag of Haitian party and other music
12 Illustrations for Jamaican lecture / Some bilah and country songs
13 Cecil's yard, opening working session
14 Start of revival zim / Morant Bay Cumina
15 African language, St. Thomas, Jamaica, 1978 / Kumina music, St. Catherine and St. Thomas, Jamaica, 1978
4 Reel-to-Reel Tape Recordings
1 Discussion (Formal Panel): Culture and Personality. Moore and others
2 Pocomania, smashing the table
3 Bilah and country
4 Puerto Rican music on St. Croix #3
5 Quadrille calls and scratchy band
6 Puerto Rican music on St. Croix #1, 1967
7 Puerto Rican music on St. Croix #1, 1967
8 Puerto Rican music on St. Croix #2, 1967
9 IV Africaan sentences, words A-B-C
10 Africaan Word List C to H
N/A Film, N.d.
Film and some audio materials from the collection were transferred to the Library of Congress in the 1980s for preservation work. This material has not yet been returned. This material may be related or included in the National Museum of Natural History National Anthropological Archives and Human Studies Film Archives collection CB-92.1.1: [Joseph G. Moore Collection: Jamaican Revival and Kumina, 1957-1958] 1957-1958; 19,131 ft silent b/w video; supplementary materials: 1,3,4,6.