Karl von den Steinen’s Ethnographic Research among Indigenous Peoples in Brazil, 1884-1888

  • Renate Brigitte Viertler Universidade de São Paulo

Resumo

This article analyses and contextualizes the life and work of the German ethnologist Karl von den Steinen (1855-1929), who conducted ethnographic research in Brazil in 1884 and 1887-88. With a solid education in sciences and the humanities, von den Steinen, a physician and psychiatrist, set out to study social institutions, material and spiritual culture among “stone age” tribal societies along the Amazon. Arriving in Brazil in 1884 he studied the Upper Xingu and the Bororo Indians in the Mato Grosso province. In the Upper Xingu area he obtained a rich ethnographic collection and gathered detailed ethnographic data that continue to be useful for modern-day anthropologists. From a theoretical point of view, von den Steinen endorsed the theory of multilineal development proposed by his mentor Adolf Bastian (1826-1905). Despite many difficulties during his stay among the Bororo Indians, he was able to acquire valuable data to be used by those interested in Bororo social institutions and ceremonial life.

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Publicado
2019-04-17
Como Citar
Viertler, R. (2019). Karl von den Steinen’s Ethnographic Research among Indigenous Peoples in Brazil, 1884-1888. Revista De Antropologia, 62(1), 93-113. https://doi.org/10.11606/2179-0892.ra.2019.157033
Seção
Special Issue - German-Speaking Anthropologists in Latin-America, 1884-1945