Chance phone call keeps alive scholar's remarkable Amazonian legacy

May 24, 2021

In March, UC Berkeley linguist Zachary O’Hagan called Florida Atlantic University anthropologist Gerald Weiss to ask about audio recordings that Weiss had made in the 1960s and ‘70s of Ashaninka people, the largest Indigenous group living in Peru’s Amazon rainforest.

O’Hagan figured they’d discuss their shared passion for the Peruvian Amazon and the need to preserve early records of the region’s languages and cultures.

Little did he know then that Weiss soon would entrust him, sight unseen, with his entire Ashaninka collection of dozens of audiotapes, more than 4,000 photographs, field diaries, copious notes and transcriptions, and nearly 200 artifacts.

Berkeley News