Anthropology has lost a great name and a great friend. Pierre Maranda, emeritus professor at Laval University, died July 5 (obituaries).We share with you the words of Professor Clive Moore, anthropologist at the University of Queensland, published via the Solomon Islands Information Network. Moreover, here you will find interviews with Mr. Maranda, and here the page dedicated to him on the Classiques des sciences sociales.
Pierre Maranda (1930-2015)
Professor Pierre Maranda, the premier academic researcher on Lau Lagoon, Malaita, and expert on mythology, structuralism and semiotics, died on Sunday 5 July at his home in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Born in 1930, and educated at the universities of Laval, Montréal and Harvard, Maranda became a research fellow at the École pratique études in Paris in the late 1960s, before returning to Canada to teach at the University of British Columbia and the University of Laval; he is now an Emeritus Professor of the University of Laval.  He has received several other honours, notably membership of the Royal Society of Canada.
Professor Maranda’s international reputation developed in three major ways.  First, he has published on Malaita since the late 1960s, a steady stream of materials in French and English, mainly in academic journals and as book chapters.  Most of his publications have been in French, which made him best known amongst French language scholars, and of course more widely in Canada in particular.   He has a formidable reputation as a structuralist scholar.  Three of his most important works have appeared during the last fifteen years.  Maranda edited The Double Twist: From Ethnography to Morphodynamics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001; and he published Ces Lau que j'ai tant aimés: un Québécois dans les îles artificielles du Pacifique-Sud. Quebec: Nouvelle Optique, 2010. His Voyage au pays des Lau (îles Salomon, début du xxie siècle). Le déclin d’une gynécocratie (2008) is also considered one of his most significant books.
Second, he had a lifelong association with Claude Levi-Strauss, the great French structuralist anthropologist and intellectual who died in 2009 and was a dominant French and French-language scholar over many decades.  Professor Maranda collaborated with Lévi-Strauss is the senior Québec scholar in this field of anthropology.  Maranda maintained strong links with Lévi-Strauss through the École sémiotique de Paris, collaborating with him on a film (Behind the Masks) and including a chapter from him in a recent edited book.
Third, over the last twenty years since he retired, Professor Maranda has been involved in detailed cataloguing of his research materials which are held in the Musée de la civilisation and are a treasure trove for anthropologists of the Pacific and for the people of Lay Lagoon and Malaita.  These materials are the most significant archives gathered by a single anthropologist, certainly in Québec and rating high for all of Canada.  Their significant and superiority is not just as a collection but a collection meticulously catalogued by the researcher.  Future generations of students and Solomon Islanders will thank him for his dedication in preserving this archive.
The Solomon Islands Information Network arose out of conversations with Pierre in a Quebec City café in 2007.  He suggested that all scholars interested in Solomon Islands needed a way of communicating, and a way of linking to Solomon Islanders with similar interests.  This simple email network will stand as a memorial to his vision.
Clive Moore
The University of Queensland
9 July 2015
Professor Clive Moore, FAHA, Cross of Solomon Islands,
McCaughey Chair of Pacific and Australian History
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry (HAPI) | The University of Queensland | Brisbane QLD 4072 Australia
Telephone: +61 7 3365 6800 | Fax: +61 7 3365 1968 | Mobile: 0419676123 | Email:
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