UCI Home Page UCI Libraries Home Page UCI Home Page UCIspace Home Page UCI Libraries home page

Department of Anthropology (University of California, Irvine) films

Online Archive of UCI History

Bookmark and Share


Department of Anthropology (University of California, Irvine) films



This subcollection consists of 3 motion pictures from the University of California, Irvine, Department of Anthropology documenting the construction and use of a canoe by a craftsman named Uliulileave from Satalo, Samoa, as well as the work of a master Yucatec Maya potter named Alfredo Tzum. Beginning in 1968, UCI was host to an experiment in intercultural exchange and artistic and social scientific learning through practice. It brought indigenous people from Guatemala, Mexico, and Samoa to an undeveloped plot on campus known as the Social Sciences Farm, a space for these visitors to demonstrate their crafts, as well as a laboratory for new methods in education and research. As faculty and students developed new theories for understanding human difference, the Farm also served as a gathering site for members of the sixties countercultural movement. Included in these motion pictures is footage of the process of construction of a Samoan canoe (or va'a), as well as fishing from and racing the finished canoe in and around Balboa Island and the Newport Back Bay area. The motion picture "Ollero Yucateco" was filmed and produced in 1965 by the University of Illinois, and depicts pottery and kiln techniques. A review of the film from 1966 indicates that the film was made in the basement of a University of Illinois building. Three of the reels were reformatted into digital files in May 2012 for an exhibit at the Contemporary Arts Center at UC Irvine entitled "Learning by Doing at the Farm," curated by doctoral students Robbie Kett (anthropology) and Anna Kryczka (visual studies).