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If anyone has photographs of Pierre that you would like to share, please send them to news@vanderbilt.edu and we will post them here.

*To comment on this or any other post on this blog, click the ‘Comments’ link to the left of the post. Click on any of the photos below to view higher resolution versions of them. If you wish to save them to your desktop, right click on them with your mouse.


Pierre with fellow anthropology prof John Janusek at a gathering at Pierre's house last semester

From Kathryn DeTore: Pierre with fellow anthropology prof John Janusek at a gathering at Pierre's house last summer

Robby in the field in Caracol, Belize (see comments for more details)

From Geoffrey Braswell: Robby in the field in Caracol, Belize (see comments for more details)

From Mary Wilhoit: Pierre at Teotihuacan as a child (see comments for more details)

"Pierre on the left doing fieldwork in Chen Pi'x cave in Belize during a filming."

From Jason Polk: Pierre on the left doing fieldwork in Chen Pi'x cave in Belize during a filming.

Clint the 'Cabbage King'

From Jason Polk: Clint the Cabbage King

From Josalyn Ferguson (see comments for details)

From Josalyn Ferguson (see comments for details)

Thanksgiving at Lauren's house. Pierre is at the far right.

From Lauren Kohut: Thanksgiving at Lauren's house. Pierre is on the far right corner.

this is a photo of Pierre with graduate student Katie Caljean at his first-ever hammock part. Fall, 2007.

From John Janusek: One more for the blog: this is a photo of Pierre with graduate student Katie Caljean at his first-ever hammock party. Fall, 2007.

Pierre with fellow Mayan linguists Miguel Tahay and Sergio Romero, taken on the Vanderbilt campus last winter.

From Sarah Birdwell: Pierre with fellow Mayan linguists Manuel Tahay and Sergio Romero, taken on the Vanderbilt campus last winter.

I took this picture during a filming project for the German TV in Tecoh Yucatan.

From Memo de Anda: I took this picture during a filming project for the German TV in Tecoh Yucatan.

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10 Comments

  1. Pierre (“Robby”) Colas was a good friend and colleague. I want to share
    this picture of Robby in the field at Caracol, Belize. Robby’s work was
    nearly unique in that he studied—and cared about—both the ancient and
    modern Maya. He studied ancient Mayan hieroglyphs as well as contemporary
    language use among the modern Maya. This photo reflects these two aspects
    of his work. Here he is in the ballcourt of Caracol with two
    Yucatec/Spanish bilingual boys from the nearby village of San Antonio,
    where Robby was conducting sociolinguistic research. The boys had never
    seen an ancient Maya site, even though they had grown up in the area. All
    afternoon, he explained to them—in Yucatec and Spanish—the importance
    of their past.

    We will miss you, Robby.

    Geoffrey E. Braswell
    Director of Graduate Studies & Associate Professor
    Department of Anthropology, UCSD

  2. Quelle perte terrible…

    En pensant très fort à sa famille et à sa soeur…

    Depuis Monterrey, NL, Mexique

  3. This is a picture that Pierre once put in a powerpoint for class, to show us Teotihuacan. It was taken when he was there as a young child, I guess. A couple of us (students in the class) thought it was such a cool picture that we saved it off of OAK. I think it maybe deserves a place on the blog. Many of Pierre’s students really, really loved and admired him.

  4. Robby was a wonderful friend and colleague. His BVAR / WBRCP nickname, “Schniedelwutz,” was not his favorite, as he preferred “Clint” (as in Eastwood), the nickname given to him by Phil Reeder’s Vaca Plateau project, but he tolerated it nonetheless in the spirit of jungle-camp banter. I’m sure Robby is thoroughly enjoying his voyage through Xibalba right now, and that he’s giving the sardonic denizens of the underworld a run for their money with his unique sense of humour, numerous erudite questions, constant insistence on deviating from the path to follow side passages, and his patented smirk!

    Robby, Belize won’t be the same without you.

  5. Pierre was my beloved friend and colleague. We shared lots of fun moments in the jungle in 05 and then again in 07 when we took our students to Caracol. He loved to be a professor at Vanderbilt and in Nashville. We went honky-tonking together many times. He had accomplished so much as a scholar at age 32. One can only imagine how much more he could have done as a scholar, professor and good human being if his life had not been interrupted. For me he was more like a brother, and will miss him forever.
    My heart goes to his father Hans and his brother and sister. I hope she will survive.

  6. Words cannot express the utter numbness I feel over our loss, the world’s
    loss with the senseless and tragic taking of Robbie. Robbie’s ability to
    to mix humour, research and education was truly masterful. I have been
    constantly reminded since hearing of his death of his playful facial
    expressions, and laugh. His good nature helped ease others. His kind,
    playful demeanor played a huge role in his success as a professor and
    scholar, and was why he was so respected, professionally and personally.

    I trust you are with the Hero Twins Robbie, playing one doozie of a game
    in their ballcourt. I can only hope you are getting the answers to all
    their secrets and unanswered questions.

    Cheers, you will be sadly missed

    This picture was taken in July 2006, at the Belize Archaeology Symposium,
    and was a group photo of past BVAR/WBRCP Staff.

    • RJ & Peter Zubrzycki
    • Posted August 29, 2008 at 1:40 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    We express our deepest sympathies to the Colas family and hope that these memorials offer even a tiny amount of comfort at this time. We wish his sister a speedy recovery as well. We lived and worked with Robbie at Actun Tunichil Muknal in western Belize and will always remember him for the perpetually happy-go-lucky, intelligent, admirable, funny (often silly) and extremely likeable human being that he was. As much rain and mud that could be thrown at us by Mother Nature, Robbie was always sure to be upbeat and ready to get back to work, whether it was out in the field, or drawing away in the lab or kitchen. We have been terribly saddened since hearing the news. It is simply unimaginable, truly horrendous and completely senseless. He affected many people in his short eventful life and we are grateful to have known him. If they only knew him.

  7. Remember, the best things in life are not things.

  8. Wir sind Katjas Familie und sind fassungslos und geschockt über das brutale Verbrechen.
    Unser herzlichstes Beleid und tiefes Mitgefühl gilt der Familie Colas und unserer Tochter Katja und den Freunden von Pierre und Marie.

    • Sonja Ch.Schütte
    • Posted November 22, 2008 at 5:57 am
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Liebe Marie, lieber Robby,
    in Gedanken immer bei Euch, werde ich Euch nie vergessen. Ich halte Euch ganz fest in meinem Herzen und hoffe, daß Ihr dort angekommen seid, wo es Euch wieder gut geht. Es tut mir so unendlich leid, ich hätte Euch so gerne wiedergesehen, nochmal so gerne mit Euch gelacht und geredet.Ich bin froh, Euch gekannt zu haben.


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