The Enigmatic German: The Life and Work of Erhard Eylmann, an Ethnographer in Australia

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Paul Erhard Andreas Eylmann (1860-1926) remains one of the more obscure and enigmatic German ethnographers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Like many of his contemporaries, he had neither formal training nor a formal position as an ethnographer when he carried out his work in Australia, yet over three separate visits he collected a large quantity of data and substantially expanded German knowledge of the continent. His major work, Die Eingeborenen der Kolonie Südaustralien (The Natives of the Colony of South Australia), published in 1908, is his most important contribution to the history of anthropology. [1] The value of Eylmann’s legacy lies in the extent of his travels in Australia and of the knowledge he acquired in the process, even if his work remains largely unknown in the country to which he devoted a significant portion of his life and work.
Original languageEnglish
TypeEncyclopaedia article
Media of outputonline encyclopedia
PublisherBérose - Encyclopédie internationale des histoires de l'anthropologie
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationParis
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2020

Publication series

ISSN (Electronic)2648-2770


  • Australia
  • ethnography
  • Germany
  • Erhard Eylmann


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