[Shadow Puppets] in Bali
Mead and Bateson's 1936-1939 field
trip to study the Balinese and the Iatmul was a landmark in the
history of visual anthropology.
They took approximately 35,000
photographs, 33,000 feet of motion picture film, and copious field
Mead and Bateson worked out a precise
system for recording field data in Bali. They synchronized their
watches, along with their Balinese secretary, Madé Kalér.
While Bateson took still and motion picture film of events, Mead
and Madé Kalér took notes, recording the time of
events at frequent intervals. They noted when photographs were
taken with "LEICAS" or "L," and when motion picture film was taken
with "CINE" or "C."
Below are representative materials
to illustrate Mead and Bateson's field method.
Mead and Balinese secretary Madé Kalér took
describing the process of making a wayang, or shadow
Bateson took this series of photographs
of the artist, I Wara of Negara, making a wajang
or shadow puppet on November 4, 1937.
Bateson took this
16mm film of the
making of wajangs
All of the photographs and a large
selection of the field notes from this field trip have been digitized
and are available online in the Manuscript