The making of a collection of carved birds by Andrew Zergenyi, a Hungarian immigrant to the United States : a bio-ethnographic study

Ladenheim, Melissa (1993) The making of a collection of carved birds by Andrew Zergenyi, a Hungarian immigrant to the United States : a bio-ethnographic study. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This study considers the making of a collection of carved birds by Andrew Zergenyi, a Hungarian immigrant to the United States. The data was gathered over a period of four years through an examination of the collection and through extended conversations with Zergenyi, members of his family, and various friends. The collection serves as point of entry into the exploration of Zergenyi's life history and worldview, both of which are informed by his engagement with the natural world as a hunter, amateur ornithologist, collector of ornithological specimens, manager of a large agricultural complex, and later as a carver of birds. -- Carving and creating the collection is interpreted in the context of Zergenyi's life experience as a strategy for dealing with personal and cultural crises. Displaced from home and culture, Zergenyi turned to carving first as diversionary tactic and later, I contend, as a means of fostering integration in a life fragmented by displacement. This study also addresses the manner in which ethnography is conducted and constructed. While folklorists may be prepared to acknowledge the provisional nature of their interpretations, they arc often less willing to discuss the conditional nature of their research. Describing the process by which ethnographies are made provides the reader with the context for the ethnography itself, an account that is too often presented as seamless: and uncontested. As such, this study not only examines Zergenyi as a maker of carvings and collections, it also reflexively considers my role as a collector of ethnographic material and a maker of ethnographic documents.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1514
Item ID: 1514
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [328]-347
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1993
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: United States--New York (State)
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Zergenyi, Andrew, 1899-; Zergenyi, Andrew, 1899---Art collections; Wood-carved figurines--Private collections--New York (State); Material culture; Folklore--Methodology; Birds in art

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