Warren d'Azevedo: An Oral History

Warren d'Azevedo: By Dead Reckoning

Interviewee: Warren d’Azevedo
Interviewed: 1997-1998, 2005
Published: 2005
Interviewer: Penny Rucks
UNOHP Catalog #203

On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Great Basin Anthropological Conference in Reno, Brian Wallace, Chairman of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, proclaimed October 15, 2005 officially “Warren d’Azevedo Day” in recognition of this anthropologist’s steadfast and compassionate commitment to the Washoe people over some fifty years, as well as his extraordinary contributions to the profession of anthropology. Professor emeritus and founder of the Anthropology Department at the University of Nevada, Reno, Warren d’Azevedo’s life history is presented here through a series of interviews with Penny Rucks, a friend and former student. Detailed in his oral history is his involvement with family, longshoremen on the Oakland waterfront, fellow seamen onboard merchant ships in the Atlantic and Pacific, students and mentors at University of California, Berkeley and Northwestern University, colleagues at University of Nevada, Reno, and the many Washoe and Gola people whom he got to know over the years. Readers who have been privileged to know this man will instantly recognize his “voice,” a voice filled with the wonder of learning, a voice of eloquence, a poet and a writer, a brilliant lecturer and synthesizer. This oral history is full of value and meaning for the anthropological community, the university, and d’Azevedo’s many friends and colleagues. He left his papers on Great Basin research to the Washoe people and to all students with an interest in Washoe studies. The Warren d’Azevedo Washoe Research Archives in the Special Collections Department of the library of the University of Nevada, Reno, holds many materials that provide additional insight into his many contributions to the field.

This introduction and oral history is reprinted with permission from the University of Nevada Oral History Archive, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Nevada, Reno.

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