Early Russian Ethnographer in New Guinea

AnthroBase contains the following profile of an ethnographer who beat Malinowski to New Guinea by several decades.

Miklukho-Maklai, Nikolai Nikolaevich (1846-1888)

Russian anthropologist and explorer, acknowledged as the father of Russian ethnography. In 1871-72, Miklukho-Maklai did 15 months of continuous fieldwork on the Northern coast of New Guinea [in present-day Madang Province], where he pioneered methods that would only gain wide acceptance 40-50 years later, after Malinowski’s fieldwork. Throughout his life, Miklukho-Maklai identified strongly with the people he studied, and he several times spoke out in their defence against colonialist powers. He laid the groundwork of the rich tradition of 19th century Russian ethnography, which continued well into Soviet times–until it was destroyed in Stalin’s purges in the 1930s-50s.

Leave a comment

Filed under Papua New Guinea, Russia, scholarship

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.