Vogt, Evon Z(artman), Jr. 1918-2004

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VOGT, Evon Z(artman), Jr. 1918-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born August 20, 1918, in Gallup, NM; died of complications from pulmonary fibrosis May 13, 2004, in Cambridge, MA. Anthropologist, educator, and author. Vogt was a Harvard professor and leading expert on the modern-day descendants of the Mayans who live in Guatemala and Mexico. Educated at the University of Chicago, he completed undergraduate work there in 1941 before joining the U.S. Naval Reserve duringWorld War II; after the war, he returned to Chicago to complete his Ph.D. in 1948. That year, he joined the Harvard faculty as an instructor, rising to the position of full professor of anthropology in 1959 and chairing the department from 1969 to 1973. After participating in anthropology expeditions in New Mexico during the late 1940s and early 1950s, Vogt was an assistant curator of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology during the 1950s. It was as director of the Chiapas project from 1957 until 1982 that Vogt became best known for his work with the indigenous Zinacantan people. Subscribing to the belief that the best way to understand a culture is to become a part of it, Vogt learned to speak Tzotzil and for twenty years lived with these descendants of the Maya for several months out of each year. His work helped anthropologists understand not only the current culture there, but also the ancient Mayan world. Vogt, who spent considerable time training Harvard archaeology students in Central America, published several books as a result of his field research, including Zinacantan: A Maya Community in the Highlands of Chiapas (1969), The Zinacantecos of Mexico: A Modern Maya Way of Life (1970), Tortillas for the Gods: A Symbolic Analysis of Zinacanteco Rituals (1976), and Fieldwork among the Maya: Reflections on the Harvard Chiapas Project (1994). He also wrote books about the Navajo and other Native American tribes and wrote or edited other scholarly studies in anthropology. For his contributions to the understanding of native cultures, Vogt was named a commander of the Order of the Aztec Eagle by the government of Mexico in 1978.



Chicago Tribune, May 24, 2004, section 1, p. 9.

Los Angeles Times, May 26, 2004, p. B9.

New York Times, May 23, 2004, p. A27.

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Vogt, Evon Z(artman), Jr. 1918-2004

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