Capitain Jacobsen's Reise an der Nordwestküste Amerikas 1881-1883
Between 1881 and 1883 J. Adrian Jacobsen (1853-1947), a Norwegian seaman from near Tromsø who referred to himself as “Captain”, undertook a collecting tour at the request of Adolf Bastian, the founder of the Berlin Ethnographical Museum, to the part of the American North-West Coast belonging to British Columbia (Canada) and to Northern Alaska. Although his collection of nearly 7000 objects and his work have remained subjects of academic study, his account of his journey, full of valuable information about the progress of the journey and his collecting activity, has never been reprinted in the German original. Leaving San Francisco, Jacobsen visited Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands and the region around Victoria, and was able not only to acquire artefacts from the Kwakiutl (Kwakwaka’wakw), Haida Gwaii, Bella Coola (Nuxalk) and others, but also to study related practices such as rituals, dances and performances. The adventurous character of Jacobsen’s travels along the North-West Coast is surpassed by the expedition to the inhospitably raw and cold north of Alaska, in Norton Sound, the Kuskokwim and Yukon regions with the Yup’ik Eskimos, Ingalik and Tanaina Indians. Staying sometimes only an hour, Jacobsen acquired everything that he could. His collection was soon considered so representative and unique that critical voices were raised in the USA and Canada against this “buyout” by a European.
Erschienen in: Deutsche im Nordpazifik. Beiträge zur Entdeckung und Erforschung des nordpazifischen Raumes. Herausgegeben von Viola König.