Jacqueline Louise Hazen

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

Grant number

Gr. 10465

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Hazen, Jacqueline (Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC) ""Sea of Stories: Re-connecting Oceanic Biocultural Collections from the 'South Seas Expedition' (1899-1900)""

From September 1899 through February 1900, the U.S.S. Albatross research vessel carried U.S. Fish Commission and Harvard University naturalists to approximately 70 islands across the Pacific Ocean. Researchers and naval personnel on the South Seas Expedition interacted with people in 11 contemporary Oceanic nation-states and territories: the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu. At the request of anthropologists at the U.S. National Museum, the naturalists amassed over 500 ethnologic objects and 275 photographs alongside the expedition’s over 1500 zoological, 490 botanical, and mineral specimens now held by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. These late 19th century collections form an invaluable resource for Oceanic communities who are revitalizing cultural practices as the impacts of climate change and other pressures shift Pacific ecologies, and push more families to diaspora communities far from their islands’ biocultural resources. While illuminating the entangled histories of ‘natural’ and ‘human’ field sciences and their potential for contemporary decolonizing projects, this ongoing research helps reactivate these collections for descendant communities through fieldwork with Micronesian stakeholders to collaboratively create resource guides that respectfully reunite texts, photographs, and museum objects from their communities.