The Libraries’ spring exhibit highlights a collection of photographs of the ethnic highlanders of Vietnam that was recently donated to the Southeast Asian Archive by Dr. Joseph Carrier, a UCI alumnus with a Ph.D. in Anthropology. The traditional culture of these ethnic groups came under threat during the Vietnam War and has been largely decimated in the years since due to forced relocation policies of the current government.
Carrier spent time among the highlanders (known in French as montagnards) while posted to Vietnam as a RAND Company researcher during the 1960s. Most of his photographs were taken during the War era, others during a return trip in January 2007.
The exhibit is in two principal sections. The first includes a dedication to Nay Luett, a highlander leader who was killed during the Vietnam War, followed by chronological sections focusing on traditional highlander culture, their experience as refugees during the Vietnam War, and their life as of 2007. The second section focuses on the experiences of our three speakers, as well as Gerald Canon Hickey, an anthropologist and friend of Dr. Carrier who has published extensively on the central highlanders.
The opening program on May 15th featured a panel of experts who have lived and worked with highlander groups. In addition to Carrier, anthropologist Jackie Maier and Mike Little, a U.S. soldier posted to the highlands during the War, spoke about their experiences. The panel was led by Charles Wheeler, UCI Assistant Professor of History, an expert on the history of trade in Vietnam whose doctoral research encompassed the role of the highlanders. During
the evening Anne Frank, who retires as Southeast Asian Archive Librarian in June (see article on page 6), was honored for her role as founder of the Archive.
While the exhibit consists principally of Carrier’s photographs, it also includes a variety of highlander artifacts loaned by the three speakers, including model longhouses, a comb and a knife pictured in the photographs, and other hand carved and woven household items. Unpublished manuscripts written by all three speakers also are on display.
For more information about the Libraries’ exhibits program please contact Jackie Dooley, Head of Special Collections and Archives (email@example.com or x44935). For information on library events, contact Julie Sully, Associate Director of Library Development (firstname.lastname@example.org or x44658).
Jackie Dooley, Carol Hughes, Steve Macleod, Spencer C. Olin, Kevin Ruminson
Editor: Jackie Dooley
Design & Production: