Adolf Bastian - Encyclopedia

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ADOLF BASTIAN (1826-), German ethnologist, was born at Bremen on the 26th of June 1826. He was educated as a physician, but from his early years devoted himself to travel. Proceeding to Australia in 1851 as surgeon on a vessel, he had visited almost every part of the world before his return in 1859. In 1861 he made an expedition to the Far East which lasted five years. Upon his return he commenced the publication of his great work on The Peoples of Eastern Asia, an immense storehouse of facts owing little to arrangement or style. He settled in Berlin, where he was made professor of ethnology at the university and keeper of the ethnological museum. He succeeded R. Virchow as president of the Berlin Anthropological Society, and to him was largely due the formation in 1878 of the German Africa Society of Berlin, which did much to encourage German colonization in Africa. Later he undertook further scientific travels in Africa, South America and India. The results of these explorations were made public in a long series of separate publications comprising several on Buddhism, and on the psychological problems presented by native superstitions. Bastian also edited the Zeitschrift fiir Ethnologic from 1869, in conjunction with Virchow and Robert von Hartmann. On his seventieth birthday, 1896 (during which year he started on an expedition to Malaysia), he was presented with a volume of essays composed by the most distinguished ethnologists in celebration of the event and dedicated to him. Among his more important works may be mentioned: - Der Mensch in der Geschichte (Leipzig, 1860); Die V olker des ostlichen Asien (Jena, 1866-1871); Ethnologische Forschungen (Leipzig, 1871-1873); Die Kulturldnder des alten Amerika (Berlin 1878); Der Buddhismus in seiner Psychologie (Berlin, 1881); Indonesien (Leipzig, 1884); Der Fetisch an der Kiiste Guineas (Berlin, 1885); Die mikronesischen Kolonien (1899-1900); Die wechselnden Phasen ins geschichtlichen Sehkreis and ihre Riickwirkung auf die V olkerkunde (1900) .

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