|[a] Coastal RF|
All I ask is for you to give it a read. Imagine that it is 1922, and all of anthropology hangs in the balance.
|[b] Trobriand PD|
In Ethnography, the writer is his own chronicler and the historian at the same time, while his sources are no doubt easily accessible, but also supremely elusive and complex; they are not embodied in fixed, material documents, but in the behaviour and in the memory of living men. In Ethnography, the distance is often enormous between the brute material of information—as it is presented to the student in his own observations, in native statement, in the kaleidoscope of tribal life—and the final authoritative presentation of the results. The Ethnographer has to traverse this distance in the laborious years between the moment he sets foot upon a native beach, and makes his first attempt to get into touch with the natives, and the time when he writes down the final version of his results. A brief outline of an Ethnographer's tribulations, as lived through by myself, may throw more light on the question, than any long abstract discussion could do.
*I may note at once that there were a few delightful exceptions to that, to mention only my friends Billy Hancock in the Trobriands; M. Raffael Brudo, another pear trader; and the missionary, Mr. M. K. Gilmour.
Indeed, in my first piece of Ethnographic research on the South coast, it was not until I was alone in the district that I began to make some headway; and, at any rate, I found out where lay the secret of effective field-work. What is then this ethnographer's magic by which he is able to evoke the real spirit of the natives, the true picture of tribal life? As usual, success can only be obtained by a patient and systematic application of a number of rules of common sense and well-known scientific principles, and not by the discovery of any marvellous short-cut leading to the desired results without effort or trouble. The principles of method can be grouped under three main headings; first of all, naturally, the student must possess real scientific aims and know the values and criteria of modern ethnography. Secondly, he ought to put himself in good conditions of work, that is, in the main, to live without other white men, right among the natives. Finally, he has to apply a number of special methods of collecting, manipulating and fixing his evidence. A few words must be said about these three foundation stones of field-work, beginning with the second and most elementary.
And on it goes for twenty-five pages that "created" ethnography as a discipline, and that is just the introduction to a 518-page ethnography—RL for RSQ
 Bronislaw Malinowski, Argonauts of the Western Pacific (Long Grove IL: Waveland Press, Inc., 1984), 1-6.
Malinowski, Bronislaw. Argonauts of the Western Pacific. Long Grove IL: Waveland Press, Inc., 1984.