By Rainer F. Buschmann
Anthropologists and international historians make unusual bedfellows. even though the latter usually hire anthropological tools of their descriptions of cross-cultural exchanges, the previous have raised gigantic reservations approximately international techniques to historical past. Fearing lack of specificity, anthropologists item to the effacing characteristics of innovations hired through international historians--this although anthropology itself used to be a world, comparative company within the 19th century. Rainer Buschmann right here seeks to get well a few of anthropology's worldwide style by means of viewing its background in Oceania in the course of 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) provides an excellent instance of simply this type of touch sector. Colonial directors there have been attracted to methods in part encouraged through anthropology. Anthropologists and museum officers exploited this curiosity by means of 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 indicates 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 accumulating, usually a aggressive affair, might turn into politicized and attach to nationwide matters. eventually, he areas the German adventure within the broader context of Euro-American anthropology. Anthropology's international Histories will curiosity scholars and students of anthropology, background, global background, and Pacific experiences.
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Additional info for Anthropology's Global Histories: The Ethnographic Frontier in German New Guinea, 1870-1935 (Perspectives on the Global Past)
Luschan suffered a similar defeat when he clashed with New Guinea Company officials over their attempts to change established place names in the Pacific Ocean. Following the annexation of German New Guinea, company officials were eager to stamp a particularly “German” identity on the territory. The German part of New Guinea thus became Kaiser Wilhelmsland. New names also emerged in the Bismarck Archipelago; the former Duke of York Islands became Neu Lauenburg; New Britain turned into Neu Pommern, and New Ireland changed to Neu Mecklenburg.
35 In essence, Bastian shared much with German chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck was no colonial enthusiast but was propelled into the direction of colonial annexation for diplomatic, economic, and social reasons. 36 Yet ultimately, whatever his reasons for colonial annexation, he was above all an opportunist who recognized how much he stood to gain from the German colonial adventure. Bastian’s reasons for his support of the German colonial adventure were more transparent. Much like Bismarck, Bastian was no colonial agitator.
Luschan replied in several short publications, professing loyalty to the German cause in the Pacific. His concern was not with colonial policies, Luschan simply regarded rechristening place names as counterproductive to an organized scientific agenda. The work of scholars, Luschan argued, required a clear-cut designation of place names; changes to accepted names only led to confusion. The rechristening policy of the New Guinea Company was superfluous and burdensome to scholarly literature. Luschan proposed an alternate naming system for international recognition: wherever possible, indigenous names should be retained; where a satisfactory indigenous name could not be found, names given by the first European discoverers should be used.