The Robert Garfias Collection of Ethnographic Films contains original 16mm films and accompanying sound recordings. Filmed by ethnomusicologist Robert Garfias and others during the 1960s and 1970s, these unique materials document many worldwide musical traditions and includes performances by numerous musicians.
The collection consists of three sub-collections:
The entire collection of 232 film reels is the property of the University of Washington Ethnomusicology Archives. For each film listed, permission was obtained from the performers at the time of filming for archival retention of the material and use of the footage for teaching and research purposes.
About Robert Garfias: Born in San Francisco in 1932, the child of Mexican-American parents. As a youngster he studied classical guitar and jazz saxophone. In high school he studied Western classical music composition, and he formed a jazz combo that played gigs for beatniks in the North Beach area of San Francisco, where he traveled in a circle of musicians that included Dave Brubeck, Vince Delgado, Vince Guaraldi, Harry Partch, and Bill Smith. During his career he founded the ethnomusicology program and archives at the University of Washington; served as Dean of Arts at the University of California, Irvine, as a member of the Smithsonian Council, and as a presidential appointee to the U.S. National Council for the Arts; and conducted significant periods of fieldwork and language study in Japan, Okinawa, Korea, the Philippines, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Central America, Burma, Romania, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, and among Okinawans in the United States (adapted from Society for Ethnomusicology Newsletter (Vol. 7, No. 4, September 2013).
Robert Garfias, circa 1965