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Anthropology's Global HistoriesThe Ethnographic Frontier in German New Guinea, 1870-1935$
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Rainer F. Buschmann

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831844

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831844.001.0001

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Albert Hahl and the Colonization of the Ethnographic Frontier

Albert Hahl and the Colonization of the Ethnographic Frontier

(p.97) Chapter 5 Albert Hahl and the Colonization of the Ethnographic Frontier
Anthropology's Global Histories

Rainer F. Buschmann

University of Hawai'i Press

The growing interest in German New Guinea's expansive ethnographic frontier became a welcome windfall for Albert Hahl, the colony's second governor. This chapter chronicles Hahl's efforts to convince the anthropological community to move beyond artifacts and to consider the mental cultures of the indigenous peoples living in German New Guinea. Hahl actively argued that the “salvage operation” of indigenous artifacts had exhausted itself, and that practitioners needed to engage themselves in the salvaging of indigenous producers of objects. Set on methodological innovation, the German governor attempted to co-opt a restructured ethnographic frontier into addressing colonial predicaments affecting German New Guinea. Much like in the colonial metropole, the ethnographic frontier in German New Guinea became a crucial component in the development of anthropological ideas and methodologies.

Keywords:   German New Guinea, Albert Hahl, anthropology, ethnographic frontier, mental culture, indigenous peoples, colonial administration

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