Because of the current global health crisis surrounding COVID-19, proposals for the Firebird Fellowships are suspended for the time being. Please continue to check back for updates.

Ritual celebration in Borneo, photo taken on behalf of the Firebird Foundation, Phillips, Maine.Ritual celebration in Borneo, photo taken on behalf of the Firebird Foundation, Phillips, Maine.


The unique oral literatures of indigenous peoples are rapidly being lost through the death of the traditional practitioners and through the schooling of the next generation. The Program for Oral Literature of the Firebird Foundation has initiated a project to fund the collection of this body of rapidly disappearing literature.


This literature may consist of ritual texts, curative chants, epic poems, musical genres, folk tales, songs, myths, legends, historical accounts, life history narratives, word games, and so on.


Fellowships are available to anthropologists and linguists going into the field to support a collection of oral literature.


The Firebird Fellowships will provide funds of up to $10,000 to applicants for purchasing recording equipment and covering the expenses of collecting this material. Applicants are encouraged, where possible, to foster the development of local teams of collectors to continue the work of recording these materials. Transcriptions of the recordings are encouraged.


Applicants should submit a proposal of not more than three pages describing the importance of collecting oral literature among the society in which they will be working, the methods to be used, the goals to be achieved, the urgency of the project, and include a budget. Copies of the recordings, transcriptions, and other documents are to be deposited and archived with the Firebird Foundation’s Program for Oral Literature along with a final report including a list of expenses incurred.


Applications should be sent to: Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research at the following email address





Fellowship Announcement Application Guidelines Tributes