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Jan van Eden

bio - biography

Stories of our life in the foreign

The museum at Dundo - Lunda province NE Angola


From the start of the civil unrest the Dundo museum was looted and several ethnographic objects from centuries past, were lost. The museum was closed in 1992 but in January 2002 (again) a 16th century tribal mask was stolen. Up to 2002 the Lunda province was held under control by UNITA.


(out of print)
ISBN 978-3-89645-161-3

Die ethnographische Sammlung aus Südwest-Angola im Museum von Dundo, Angola (1954). Katalog

A colecção etnográfica do Sudoeste de Angola no Museu do Dundo, Angola (1954). Catálogo

Author: Hermann Baumann. Edited by: Beatrix Heintze. Collected by: Beatrix Heintze.

Series: Afrika-Archiv Volume 3

376 pp.
1 map, 296 b/w photos, 186 drawings, 158 sketches, appendix
Text language(s): German
Format: 160 x 240 mm
680 g
€ 39.80

This volume documents the ethnographical collection of the German anthropologist Hermann Baumann (1902–1972), which he acquired in southwest Angola in 1954 during his second research visit. Despite what Baumann had hoped, he was unable to transfer his collection of 1,018 pieces to Germany, and instead it had to be stored under appalling conditions in Lobito. To save the endangered collection the diamond mining company DIAMANG (Diamantengesellschaft), active in the northeast of Angola, stepped in and offered to house the items in their own museum in Dundo.

Ever since this journey Baumann had wished to return to Angola to study the collection and publish a catalogue. Though he was aware that it might be his last journey, he eventually returned to Africa in April 1972. During the following weeks in Dundo he prepared sketches of large parts of the items and added to each a short description, which was then locally translated into Portuegese. On the return trip Baumann fell ill with Malaria, and he died within hours of his transfer to Munich from a Lisbon hospital.

That the catalogue envisioned by Baumann is now published, two decades after his death, owes its origin to the strong interest shown by Angolans into the work of this anthropologist. His posthumous notes and material have become important sources for anthropological research, therefore it was deemed important to include all available pictorial material, despite the unavoidable limitations in quality some of the photos and draughts contain. The catalogue part is preceded by an introduction in German and Portuguese. The individual item descriptions are accompanied wherever possible with photos taken in the Museu do Dundo, else with outlines based on Baumann's original sketches or the sketches itself. The items are grouped by their principal function, ranging from furniture and household articles over tools, pieces of clothing and arms into the areas of toys and music, religion and accessories like walking canes and tobacco containers. Baumann's bequest also contained some photos he had taken during his acquisition tour in southwest Angola. They are included in a separate chapter to introduce the reader to the land, its peoples and cultures.


© 2012 by Rüdiger Köppe Verlag –



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