The Institute for Ethnography and Kreyol Oral Histories (EKO Haiti) was established in 2020 to echo and amplify the voices of Haitians from all walks of life. In pursuit of this mission, we have gathered an exhaustive collection of ethnographies on Haitian society. We also have created a repository for transcripts of focus groups and other interviews conducted by researchers to provide direct public access to the stories of ordinary Haitians – farmers, merchants, fishermen, aid workers, and others. For the next phase of our project, we are recording a series of oral histories.


It is with great pleasure that EKO HAITI is able to provide open access to the works of American anthropologist Gerald F Murray (published and unpublished).  Long considered as a reference in regards to anthropological research in Haiti, Murray’s work, particularly in regards to Agrarian, Ritual and Healing systems of rural Haiti, as well as agroforestry systems and ultimately the relation between people and trees are of  utmost importance to anyone wishing to understand the country and its people. Murray also designed and directed an agroforestry project in Haiti that during a 20-year period facilitated trees to over a quarter of a million farm families.



Broken Promise: Anthropology And The Humanitarian Aid Sector

In December 2011, 23 months after the Haiti earthquake, in a single sentence, Professor Marc Schuller [1] wrote about the “holocaust,” “the middle passage”, and me—Timothy Schwartz– having “disrespected the memory of loved ones and their ancestors” (read the original on Counterpunch).

The Haitian exeption

It is a deeply peculiar phenomenon, Haiti’s ‘popularity’. Marked by qualitative extremes – first successful slave revolt, first black republic, most African Caribbean culture, most dangerous tourist destination, among others – the country occupies a unique place in the collective consciousness of the modern American hemisphere.

The Joining of Science, Art and Aid

MEVMS (Multi-Dimensional Ethnographic Value-Chain Mapping Strategy) is an intuitive, user-friendly research and presentation strategy for creatively documenting, organizing, understanding, and explaining Value Chain networks for a product or service that generates critical income to an economically insecure population.


Popular literature has had a profound impact on Haiti’s image. Anthropologists paint a much fuller and more accurate picture of the country’s culture and economic life. By providing an extensive library of ethnographies, many long familiar to academics but unavailable to the general public, EKO Haiti aims to foster a deeper understanding of a country that is constantly influenced but often misunderstood by outsiders.


EKO’s searchable collection of focus group transcripts already covers coffee, cacao, and mango farming; fishing; school feeding programs; and animal husbandry. We also have focus groups where participants provided oral histories of their experiences in camps for people who lost their homes in the 2010 earthquake.


EKO Haiti is a network of anthropologists, journalists, and other researchers committed to sharing first-hand accounts about Haitian society. We invite other researchers to share interviews and oral histories they have gathered, too. Our goal is to amplify Kreyol voices so they can be heard more broadly, and without the filters that too often distort the outside world’s views on Haitian society. The country’s farmers, merchants, educators, fishermen, factory workers, and other citizens have lived Haiti’s history. They should be the ones to tell it. 


Visual ethnography uses photography, videos, hypermedia, the web, interactive  maps, art and virtual reality as ways of capturing and expressing perceptions and social realities of people. EKO HAITI aims to produce and provide access to a vast library of visual ethnographic material giving more depth to the overall representation of Haiti and its people.


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