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UW Ethnomusicology Archives: Simon Ottenberg Collection

The UW Eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy Archives has been col­lecting and curating unique ethnographic music recordings, films, and video since 1962.

Simon Ottenberg Collection


About Simon Ottenberg

Simon Ottenberg was Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Washington, where he worked for over 60 years before retiring. He earned his PhD in anthropology from Northwestern University in 1956. His areas of interest included African art, sociocultural anthropology, and indigenous North American cultures. He published multiple books during his career including Double Descent in African Society and Boyhood Rituals in African Society. 

Collection Overview

World map with Nigeria and Sierra Leone highlighted

The Simon Ottenberg Collection contains field recordings created by Ottenberg in West Africa. The collection holdings include recordings made in Nigeria in the 1950's and 60's about traditional artwork and recordings made in the 1970's and 80's in Sierra Leone featuring local musical traditions. 

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