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Bernatzik. South Pacific

Hugo Bernatzik travelled for over a year, between 1932 and 1933, to the Solomon Islands, New Guinea and Bali. His lively and fascinating account of the trip and his observations on myths, customs and traditions of the people he encountered were published as a book: "Sudsee: Travels in the South Seas" and soon after translated into English. Bernatzik's images are always informative, but the images reproduced in the book have to be appreciated especially for their high aesthetic value and their capacity to bring to life the spirit of the peoples portrayed. The photographs in the book, full of movement and life, depict fascinating actions such as the turtle hunt in the Solomon Islands reef or seafaring on an oroum - a Papuan double canoe. Everyday life in villages and the habits proper to each particular group come to life in the photographs. Finally, an astounding series of portraits gives us an idea of the wonderful adornments worn by the people of the South Seas. The text by Bernard de Grunne gives us full insight into Bernatzik's life and recounts his travel to the South Pacific as well as the outcome of his research.
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About the Author

Hugo A. Bernatzik was born in 1897 in Vienna. Travel writer, photographer and ethnographer, before World War II he was one of the most distinguished scholars of ethnology in German-speaking countries and soon became famous in the rest of the world. Between 1923 and 1930 he travelled widely in Africa, in 1932-1933 he took a trip in Southeast Asia. After the war he travelled to Morocco (1949-1950). The high quality of his photographs contributed to his success and was influential in shaping the public view that native population should be protected. Bernatzik was appointed professor at the University of Graz in 1939, where he founded the discipline of applied ethnology.

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