Anthropology's Global Histories: The Ethnographic Frontier by Rainer F. Buschmann

By Rainer F. Buschmann

Anthropologists and international historians make unusual bedfellows. even supposing the latter usually hire anthropological equipment of their descriptions of cross-cultural exchanges, the previous have raised tremendous reservations approximately worldwide techniques to heritage. Fearing lack of specificity, anthropologists item to the effacing features of strategies hired by means of global historians--this although anthropology itself used to be an international, comparative firm within the 19th century. Rainer Buschmann right here seeks to recuperate a few of anthropology's worldwide taste by way of viewing its heritage in Oceania during the inspiration of the ethnographic frontier--the furthermost limits of the anthropologically identified areas of the Pacific. The colony of German New Guinea (1884-1914) offers an awesome instance of simply one of these touch region. Colonial directors there have been interested in methods partly encouraged via anthropology. Anthropologists and museum officers exploited this curiosity via getting ready large-scale expeditions to German New Guinea. Buschmann explores the ensuing interactions among German colonial officers, resident ethnographic creditors, and indigenous peoples, arguing that each one have been instrumental within the formation of anthropological concept. He exhibits how alterations in accumulating goals and strategies helped shift ethnographic research clear of its concentrate on fabric artifacts to a broader attention of indigenous tradition. He additionally exhibits how ethnological gathering, usually a aggressive affair, may well turn into politicized and fasten to nationwide issues. eventually, he areas the German event within the broader context of Euro-American anthropology. Anthropology's international Histories will curiosity scholars and students of anthropology, heritage, global historical past, and Pacific reviews.

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Extra info for Anthropology's Global Histories: The Ethnographic Frontier in German New Guinea, 1870-1935 (Perspectives on the Global Past)

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Subsequent chapters explore the development of the division and Luschan’s thought on ethnography and ethnographic collecting. Although ideologically more nationalistic than Bastian, Luschan shared the salvage concerns of his erstwhile superior. Convinced of the superiority of his museum over similar institutions in Germany, Bastian had theorized the need to monopolize the German colonies within his salvage construction. It fell on Luschan’s shoulders to administer Bastian’s idea. Luschan approached what turned out to be a thankless job with unrelenting zeal.

The Umlauff family in Hamburg is a well-known example of such a venture. By 1868 Johann Friedrich Gustav Umlauff had established a business specializing in the sale of natural and artificial curiosities, which he expanded greatly by 1884. His sons continued the business, known under the ominous name of Umlauff ’s World Museum, and traded in zoological, ethnographic, and anthropological specimens. Their customers included private collectors as well as museums and scientific institutions around the world.

If only von Hansemann could have the same [ethnographic] interest as the late Godeffroy, then my whole venture would have had a purpose. The [company], however, is solely guided by practical interests and is out to pull hard-earned money out of the poor settlers’ purses. ”36 There was much truth in what Parkinson said of his tour with the New Guinea Company. The company restricted the movement of its employees and their consumption of alcoholic beverages, regulated the treatment of indigenous people, and micromanaged the collection of natural and ethnographic artifacts.

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