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    Estatutos da Sociedade de Etnografia e Folclore
    Revista do Arquivo Municipal (São Paulo, Brasil). --- Vol. 4, no. 39 (set. 1937)
    p. [101]- 112 : ill.
    Journal article – Other
    "Estatutos da Sociedade de Etnografia e Folclore." Revista do Arquivo Municipal (São Paulo, Brazil), vol. 4, no. 39 (September, 1937): 101-112.
    Departamento de cultura (São Paulo); Sociedade de Etnografia e Folclore (SaÞo Paulo, Brazil)

These are the statutes of the Sociedade de Etnografia e Folclore (SEF, established in the state of São Paulo). The statutes define the mission of the Society: “to guide, encourage, and communicate ethnographic, anthropological, and folkloric studies” whose objectives include “to promote cooperation [...], arrange internal discussions and field trips,” and “support ethnological collections” and “organize lectures, courses, and publications.” One of the more unique features of the statutes is its determination, much like the intention of Brazilian modernist art, to “develop a national art vocabulary.” The twelve-page document then establishes a number of rules of governance that are very similar to those used by other professional institutions. It defines the kinds of “contributor” and “correspondent” memberships that constitute the society. It notes that the board, secretaries, and treasurers will be elected to one-year terms, and that the current statutes can be updated two years after they have been approved. It states that all decisions will be put to a vote and will require the approval of 5 members, and that there will be a minimum of three days’ notice given before a meeting is scheduled. Should the SEF be dissolved, the statutes state that it will be absorbed into the Department of Culture (in São Paulo). It notes that the first board’s term will end in May 1938. The statutes stipulate that a president will preside over the Society, and identify duties for board members.  


The next sections of the statutes discuss various rules of governance. First, that meetings are to be scheduled between the first and third week of every month, and are to include readings, summaries of correspondence, and presentation of proposals. The statutes then clarify the business to be handled at regular and extraordinary meetings, and the requirements in each case. The next section of the statutes addresses the question of elections, how they are to be held at regular meetings, what to do in the event of any doubts concerning the results, and how results are to be announced. 


The Technical Committee is responsible for the Society’s scientific activities, and will consist of six members. Its function is explained in the following section. The cover is illustrated with images of weapons, adornments, and utensils used by the Puris Indians (a Brazilian ethic group), but their relevance to the statutes is not explained. The terms “delegates” and “researchers,” who will update the SEF about ethnological and folkloric events as well as the events organized by public entities that are devoted to the conservation and preservation of their documents, indicate that there will be field researchers and archive and library researchers, all of whom will work with the Technical Committee.


The “General Regulations” state that a monthly newsletter will be published and distributed at no charge to members and researchers, whose instructions will be circulated together with articles/news on meetings and scientific matters regarding the SEF. The Boletim and the Revista do Arquivo will be the Society’s publications. Among the founding members of the organization mentioned are Candido Bittencourt, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Mário de Andrade, Paulo Duarte, and Sérgio Milliet. There is a final mention of the Society’s first board, presided over by Mário de Andrade, with Dina Lévi-Strauss as secretary.

Leia esta sinopse em português

A criação da Sociedade de Etnografia e Folclore pelo Departamento de Cultura de São Paulo, que tem seus estatutos aprovados em 1937, marca o desdobramento do trabalho de etnólogos e a urgência de preparar pesquisadores. A recem criada sociedade é presidida por Mário de Andrade, e secretariada por Dina Lévi-Strauss.

Revert to English synopsis

The founding of the SEF (Sociedade de Etnografia e Folclore) by the São Paulo Department of Culture was confirmed by the ratification of its statutes in 1937. This step led to a split in the area of Brazilian ethnography and underscored the urgent need to train researchers to work in this field.


The first president of the SEF, the writer, musicologist, and folklorist Mário de Andrade (1893–1945), was undoubtedly a key promoter of these activities; as the Director of the Department of Culture in the state of São Paulo (a position he held for the rest of his life) he was involved in the Semana de Arte Moderna event in 1922, and organized research projects devoted to Brazilian folklore and native music. His novels (or ‘rhapsodies’ as he called them) reflect his interest in Brazilian folklore: Macunaíma: A Hero without a Character (1928) was written in a decidedly idiomatic style—that he described as desgeograficado [devoid of geographical referents] which conveyed his interest in every known alternative of a particular word—that sought to express “colloquial Brazilian” instead of the correct Portuguese that was accepted by the Academy. There is a Latin American version (trans-creation) by Héctor Olea published in two editions (Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1977) and another version that includes drawings by Carybé [Héctor Páride Bernabó] (Barcelona: Anagrama, 2005).


The SEF was originally conceived during Mário de Andrade’s first term as president of the state of São Paulo’s Department of Culture (1935–38). This was an attempt to address the problem identified by modern art concerning the inclusion of traditional culture. He had been working on the project since the 1920s in north and northeastern Brazil and, in 1938, began to collect the music and other examples of the culture of those regions.

Leia este comentário crítico em português

Mario de Andrade buscou solucionar o dilema da visão modernista frente às experiências realizadas no domínio da cultura popular,ou seja, inúmeras tradições presentes pelo território brasileiro. Ele realizou viagens etnográficas ao Norte e Nordeste do país, na década de 1920 e organizou Missões de Pesquisa Etnográfica, em 1938, para registrar o folclore musical e coletar exemplares da cultura material. A criação da Sociedade de Etnografia e Folclore data da época em que Mário de Andrade é o diretor do Departamento de Cultura (1935-1938), conhecedor da necessidade de formar pesquisadores para atuarem em pesquisas desenvolvidas pelo Departamento de Cultura.


b- Cultura popular e folclore associados à brasilidade

d- Pesquisa etnográfica

e- Alianças, modelos de atuação e organização da cultura. Projetos públicos.

Revert to English annotations
Elza Barbosa
FAPESP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade de São Paulo