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Elayne Zorn collection, 1971-2010

Zorn, Elayne
Rosoff, Nancy B
Cutipa Lima, Juan de Dios
American Anthropological Association
Brooklyn Museum of Art
California Academy of Sciences Anthropology Dept
Textile Museum (Washington, D.C.)
University of Central Florida Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology
Audio cassettes
Collection descriptions
Field notes
Slides (photographs)
Photographic prints
Physical Description
11 linear feet
10927 photographic negatives
11412 photographic slides
1474 photographic prints
57 cassette tapes
10 Videocassettes
Restrictions & Rights
Access is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact NMAI Archives to make an appointment
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to
Local number
Elayne Leslie Zorn was born on February 3, 1952 in New York City. She attended Hunter College High School and Barnard College. She received her Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree in Textile Arts from the California College of the Arts in 1975. She then began a long association with the community on the Island of Taquile, in the Puño region of Peru, conducting fieldwork on native weaving techniques. She also began a long-term affiliation with the Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore in La Paz, Bolivia and collected textiles in the Macusani region of Peru for an exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. She received her Master's degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas, Austin in 1983, with fieldwork concentrated on economic development and tourism in Taquile, Peru. During her time in Peru in the 1970's and 1980's, Zorn became an accomplished musician, playing the charango and Bolivian mandolin in performances in Andean towns as well as in New York City.
Zorn resumed graduate studies in 1985 at Cornell University where she received her Master of Arts degree in anthropology in 1987 followed by her Ph.D. in 1997. At Cornell she worked under the supervision of Professor Billie Jean Isbell and conducted much of her dissertation fieldwork in Sakaka, Bolivia focusing on the global transformation of cloth and identity in highland Andean regions. Zorn worked as a visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Colgate University from 1997 to 1998 and then hired as Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida from 1998 until 2010. While at the University of Central Florida, Zorn received both teaching-related and research-related awards as well as grants to continue her fieldwork in the Andean regions of Peru and Bolivia. She also co-directed the PeruVine/PeruDigital Project, an interactive and immersive website to present field data from Peru's Institute of Ethnomusicology online. In 2004 Zorn published her book, Weaving a Future: Tourism, Cloth and Culture on an Andean Island(University of Iowa Press), an analysis of textile traditions as it relates to global change.
In addition to her academic duties, throughout her career Zorn collaborated with various museums and cultural institutions as a consultant and collector. These included, but are not limited to, The Brooklyn Museum where Zorn collaborated with Nancy Rosoff, The Textile Museum, Smithsonian Center for Folklife Programs, UNICEF and the Inter-American Foundation. She was also a member of various professional societies including the American Anthropological Association, the Bolivian Studies Association, the Society for Latin American, Carribean, and Latino Studies as well as the Textile Society of America. Zorn passed away June 15, 2010 and was survived by her mother, Sandra Gordon, and her son, Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn.
This collection was donated by Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn, Elayne Zorn's son in April of 2011.
Series 1: Field Research, 1975-2006; Subseries 1A: Taquile, Peru, 1975-1994 [1977-1981]; Subseries 1B: Sakaka, Bolivia, 1985-1994; Subseries 1C: La Paz, Bolivia, 2006; Subseries 1D: Miscellaneous Field Notes, 1976-2006; Series 2: Professional Activities, 1978-2010; Subseries 2A: Conferences and Presentations, 1977-2009; Subseries 2B: Museum Work, 1976-2008; Subseries 2C: General, 1976-2010; Series 3: Publications and Writings, 1979-2009; Subseries 3A: Elayne Zorn, 1979-2009; Subseries 3B: Other Authors, 1979-2005; Series 4: Ephemera and Miscellaneous, 1975-2009; Series 5: Photographs, 1970-2006; Subseries 5A: Negatives, 1976-1997; Subseries 5B: Slides, 1970-2002; Subseries 5C: Prints, 1978-2000; Subseries 5D: Digital Media , 2002-2010; Series 6: Audio-Visual Materials, 1983-1994; Subseries 6A: Cassette Tapes, 1983-1991; Subseries 6B: Videotapes, 1991-1994
The Elayne Zorn Collection spans the years of Zorn's professional and student activity in the fields of anthropology and Latin American studies from 1975 until 2010. This includes material from Zorn's field research in the Andean Regions of Peru and Bolivia as well as her professional activities as a textile collector and expert advisor for museum collections and exhibitions. This collection is arranged into six series with additional subseries. Series 1: Field Research, includes field notebooks, correspondence, and general research from Taquile, Peru, Sakaka, Bolivia and La Paz, Bolivia. Series 2: Professional Activities, includes presentation and lecture notes, object catalogs for various museum collections and Zorn's academic work conducted at the University of Central Florida. Series 3: Publications and Writings, contains both articles written by Zorn, including her Master's thesis and dissertation, and articles published by colleagues. Series 4: Ephemera and Miscellaneous, contains a variety of materials including posters, postcards, datebooks and calendars as well as material gathered by Zorn's former husband, Juan Cutipa. Series 5: Photographs, includes negatives, slides, prints and digital media that document Zorn's work in the field. The bulk of the photographs capture the daily lives of weavers as well as important community holidays and festivals. Series 6: Audio-Visual Materials, includes a small amount of VHS tapes as well as audio-cassettes on which Zorn recorded traditional Andean music performed at festivals she attended in Peru and Bolivia.
Cite as
Elayne Zorn Collection, National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution
Repository Loc.
National Museum of the American Indian Archives, Cultural Resources Center, 4220 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Maryland 20746. (tel: 301-238-1400, fax: 301-238-3038, email: Consult Archives for appointment
Data Source
National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
Andes Region
Potosí (Bolivia : Dept.)
Puno (Peru : Dept.)
Sacaca (Bolivia)
Taquili (Peru)
Usage conditions apply