Karl von den Steinen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2009
Online Publication Date:August 2011
Original Publication Year:1894
Subjects: Latin American language and linguistics , History of native American peoples
Karl von den Steinen's classic work, first published in 1894, recounts the second expedition he undertook to the Xingu River in Northeastern Brazil in the years 1887–1888. The book serves both as a travelogue and as a meticulous scientific document. Von den Steinen describes in vivid detail how he and his fellow scientists set out for the city of Cuiabá in the Mato Grosso province and there made significant and lasting discoveries in the areas of geography, cartography, ethnology and anthropology. The expedition visited the villages of nine different tribes and von den Steinen made extensive linguistic observations from which he compiled a small dictionary that forms part of the book. Von den Steinen addresses topics including the physiognomy, sexuality and religious habits of the different tribes, and shows himself to be a keen observer of local customs and traditions.