Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives [Contact Us]3260 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-6324
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Dr. Ruben E. Reina, born in Argentina in 1924, received his B.A. at the University of Michigan and his M.A. at Michigan State University. He was awarded his Ph.D. by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of North Carolina and served as a Research Assistant at the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill from 1952 until 1954. His first appointment was as an Instructor of Anthropology and Sociology at Women's College at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Reina followed this teaching experience with an Assistant Professorship in Anthropology at the University of Puerto Rico for the academic year 1956-1957 and then assumed an Assistant Professorship in the Anthropology Department of the University of Pennsylvania.
During his tenure as Assistant Professor, Dr. Reina was also Assistant Curator, American Section, at the Penn Museum and Chairman of the Undergraduate Program in Anthropology at the University. He became a Professor in the Anthropology Department in 1967 and assumed the position of Curator of Latin American Ethnology, American Section of the Penn Museum.
Dr. Reina's fieldwork began while he was an undergraduate with work in the Guatemalan Highlands, Mexico, and a mountain community in North Carolina. Subsequent trips took him to Puerto Rico; Peten, Guatemala; British Honduras; the Yucatan; Argentina; Spain; Brazil; British Guiana; Turkey; Iran(Hasanlu expedition); and Antigua, Zunil, and Coban, Guatemala. Dr. Reina also did extensive ethnohistoric research at the Archivo General de Indias in Seville Spain.
The Antigua, Guatemala expeditions were conducted in 1969 and 1970. The expeditions visited the sites of Las Capuchinas, Santo Domingo, San Francisco, Farington, La Colonia, El Manchen, Instituto Nacional de la Vivienda, Centro de la Iglesia, and others, producing artifacts, photographs, and extensive information about pottery creation, production and marketing in the area. Dr. Reina explored the pottery works of the Monteil family, a pottery making dynasty in Antigua.
Reina began publishing his work in 1954. His books include,The Law of the Saints: A Pokomam Pueblo and Its Community Culture, published by Bobbs-Merrill and, with Robert M. Hill, III, The Traditional Pottery of Guatemala, published by the University of Texas Press. Dr. Reina has received numerous grants to continue his research, most notably from the DiNella Foundation, the Natural Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society.
Dr. Reina was named Curator Emeritus of Ethnology in the American Section of the Penn Museum in 1990, following 34 years as a Curator and Professor. He curated several exhibitions for the Museum including, The Gift of Birds: Featherwork of Native South American Peoples, in 1991. This exhibition explored "featherwork as a medium through which to examine the aesthetic, religious, and social values of the native South American peoples."
During his retirement, Dr. Reina accepted a post as Acting Curator for the North American Collections from 1993 to 1994.
Dr. Reina is also an artist, working in oils, watercolor, acrylic, and ink media. His work has been shown at the Darlington Fine Arts Center.
The Antigua Guatemala expeditions were conducted in 1969 and 1970 by Dr. Ruben Reina, then a Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Pennsylvania and Curator of Latin American Ethnology, American Section of the Penn Museum. The fieldwork was conducted at Santo Domingo, Las Capuchinas, San Francisco, El Manchen, La Colonia, and Farington sites. The excavations produced artifacts of pottery, stone, and ceramics. In addition, Dr. Reina conducted interviews with the Montiel family and photographed the facility where the family produced pottery for several generations.
The collection consists of twenty-five folders of records, photographs, and some negatives in three archival boxes, two file boxes of five-by-eight catalogue and excavation cards, and a file box of three-by-five photo catalogue cards. There are a few lists, excavation notes, and interviews written in Spanish.
The series marking the correspondence, catalogue and ceramics of the expedition includes background information on Guatemala and the interpretation of the ceramics data. This includes the administrative keys to the data and codes to identify the specific sites along with Annette Weiner's Lab System for Antigua and the survey notes of Christopher C. Hamlin. The ceramic types and groups are extensively presented. Language issues are addressed by a chart that translates Maya Language Terms for Ceramics from Castellano into languages such as Lengua Pokoman, Quiche, Kekchi, Itza, Tuchtecan, Chorti, Man, Pokomchi, and Cakchiquel. The correspondence is dated from 3/12/69 to 5/11/73. The earliest communication is with Dr. Hector Samoyoa Guerara of the Instituto de Anthropologia y Historia in Antigua and Lic. Luis Lujan also of the Instituto de Anthropologia y Historia. Dr. Reina also corresponded with Dr. Carlos Tejadas of the Instituto Nutricional de Centroamerica y Panama. Several letters relate to freight issues and are directed to Senor Horacio Caniz of Caniz Van Lines. Reina also communicated with Edwin M. Shook, Christopher Hamlin, Mrs. Marion Popence Hatch, and Vivian de Morales.
The catalogue of objects is hand-written, organized by site and then by number. The items are numbered from 33 to 1566 on 82 pages. Another list, on seven typed pages, organizes the objects by composition or type of object. The notes and notebooks series begins with site RC 1, Las Capuchinas and continues for the sites and subsites RC2 to RC 7. The same format is followed in each group of notes; a history, diary, drawings and plans. Some ethnological information and soil and/or section drawings are included with a few sites. Field notes from Rudy Lerio(Carlos Rudy Larios Villalta)fill a hardback field notebook compiled by during the 1970 expedition. The notes relate to the El Manchen site with diagrams and data. The chart headings and diagram labels are in Spanish. A letter to Dr. Ruben Reina from Carlos Rudy Larios Villalta was folded in the notebook and was maintained with it in this folder.
The Montiel pottery series, noted as site RC 81, holds interviews with family members about the four generations of operation. The interviews are in Spanish. Information includes types of pottery, techniques used, drawings of the output, worker observations, and an inventory of the drying merchandise on site. The photographs from the site have been maintained with the written material. These include eight-by-ten and smaller photographs and slides of individual pottery and the drying process, the compound, workers and a few photos of sherds from the excavation at the compound.
The photograph series begins with original rough drafts of the photograph lists on legal size paper. A total of 803 of Annette Weiner's photographs and slides are identified by number, subject, and site. Two additional sheets list rolls without attribution. Another sheet lists pictures by date taken and roll number. Another list of black and white pictures is sorted by site name. Negative contact sheets are present for some of the photographs and there is a small envelope with excavation prints from El Manchen. Negatives are present for many of the black and white and slide formats.
The material for publication, including illustrations and negatives for a "contemporary pottery book", depict the natural resources of Guatemala, pottery production centers, and regional markets. Additional charts relate to types of pottery produced in specific regions and the levels of marketing involved in the sale of pottery.
The card catalogues are contained in smaller boxes numbered four, five, and six. Boxes four and five hold the catalogue and excavation unit cards. The original order is maintained with the exception of the records from 1969, which are located at the beginning of Box four. Box six holds the photograph catalogue cards. These are filed consecutively by location. The divisions used by the expedition staff are maintained. Many of the 1970 photographs from the Santo Domingo site indicate "Shook's site."
The maps, plans and drawings series begins with copies of historic maps dating back to 1750 to 1800. There are condition issues with some of the maps.
- Hamlin, Christopher L., 1943-
- Reina, Ruben E., 1924-
- Shook, Edwin M., 1911-2000
- Weiner, Annette B., 1933-1997
- University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Jody Rodgers
- Finding Aid Date
- Use Restrictions
Although many items from the archives are in the public domain, copyright may be retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. The user is fully responsible for compliance with relevant copyright law.