Ethnologists

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Ethnologists are involved in the analysis, examination and the study of different human cultures that exist in the society; they examine and scrutinize social structures, language, religion and technology. Ethnology is a branch in the field of anthropology that deals with the analysis and the study of the origin, distribution and characteristics of the human race. Ethnologists study human beings on the basis of their race and other characteristics and do a comparative and analytical study of cultures. Ethnologist may be involved in tedious research and they will analyze humans based on the data they have collected and then compiled. Ethnologist may also be involved in the study of animals. The term ethology originated around 1783, when historian and ethnologist Adam Franz Kollár used the term in one of his publications. By the 19th and 20th century, many scientists began to explore the behavioral patterns of selected species. The Ethnologists are thus involved in the study of behavior in their natural habitats and assess behavioral patterns based on cause, development, evolution and function. To get to know more facts about some of the most famous ethnologist, continue to read some of their detailed biographies that include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.
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 1 
Thor Heyerdahl
(Norwegian Adventurer and Ethnographer Known for His ‘Kon-Tiki’ and ‘Ra’ Transoceanic Scientific Expeditions)
Thor Heyerdahl
4
Birthdate: October 6, 1914
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Larvik, Norway
Died: April 18, 2002
Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s early interest in nature was inspired by his museum worker mother’s keen interest in Darwin’s theory of evolution. He often went on treks accompanied by his dog and later lived on Fatu Hiva with his wife. His later expeditions included his Kon-Tiki and Easter Island trips.
 2 
Edward Sapir
(Anthropologist, Linguist, Sociolinguist, University teacher, Ethnologist)
Edward Sapir
4
Birthdate: January 26, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lębork
Died: February 4, 1939

Edward Sapir was an anthropologist-linguist. He played a pivotal role in the development of the discipline of linguistics in USA. He studied Germanic linguistics at Columbia and later researched Native American languages. He was an expert in the study of Athabascan languages and Chinookan languages. He also worked with Yiddish, Hebrew, and Chinese languages. 

 3 
W. H. R. Rivers
(British Anthropologist, Neurologist, Ethnologist and Psychiatrist, Best Known for His Work Treating First World War Officers)
W. H. R. Rivers
4
Birthdate: March 12, 1864
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chatham, Kent, England
Died: June 4, 1922

English anthropologist and psychologist W. H. R. Rivers is best remembered for his work on the Todas of the Nilgiri Hills. A qualified physician, he also taught at Cambridge and worked extensively on medical psychology. One of his best-known works is Kinship and Social Organisation.

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 4 
Georg Forster
(German Explorer Who Established Travel Literature as a Genre in Germany)
Georg Forster
4
Birthdate: November 27, 1754
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mokry Dwór, Poland
Died: January 10, 1794
German ethnologist, explorer, and travel writer Georg Forster established travel literature as a prominent genre in the German literary circle. Both he and his naturalist father, Johann Reinhold Forster, accompanied Capt. James Cook on his second voyage around the world. He also taught at several universities, before becoming a librarian.
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 5 
Augustus Pitt Rivers
(Archaeologist)
Augustus Pitt Rivers
4
Birthdate: April 14, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bramham cum Oglethorpe, England
Died: May 4, 1900
 6 
Arnold van Gennep
(Dutch-German-French Folklorist and Ethnographer)
Arnold van Gennep
4
Birthdate: April 23, 1873
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Died: May 7, 1957

Arnold van Gennep was a Dutch-German-French folklorist and ethnographer. He is best remembered for his 1909 work, The Rites of Passage, which influenced Joseph Campbell's 1949 work The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Arnold van Gennep's work also influenced Victor Turner's research and his 1969 work, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure.

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 7 
Terence McKenna
(American Ethnobotanist, Mystic and One of the Leading Authorities on the Ontological Foundations of Shamanism)
Terence McKenna
4
Birthdate: November 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paonia, Colorado, United States
Died: April 3, 2000
Philosopher, ethnobotanist, and public speaker Terence McKenna was the proponent of concepts such as the Novelty Theory and Machine Elf. His work revolved around subjects such as psychedelic drugs, shamanism, alchemy, and metaphysics. He wrote several books and supported the usage of psychedelic mushrooms to experience different states of mind.
 8 
Henry Schoolcraft
(American Geologist, Geographer, and Ethnologist Who is Known for His Studies of Native American Cultures)
Henry Schoolcraft
4
Birthdate: March 28, 1793
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Guilderland, New York, United States
Died: December 10, 1864

Henry Schoolcraft was an American geologist, geographer, and ethnologist. He is best remembered for his studies of Native American cultures. Henry Schoolcraft is also credited with founding The Journal of Education, America's first journal on public education.

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 9 
Leo Frobenius
(Ethnologist)
Leo Frobenius
3
Birthdate: June 29, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: August 9, 1938
 10 
Adolf Bastian
(German Polymath Best Known for His Contributions to the Progression of Ethnography)
Adolf Bastian
3
Birthdate: June 26, 1826
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bremen, Germany
Died: February 2, 1905

Adolf Bastian was a German polymath best known for his contributions to the progression of ethnography. He is also credited with making immense contributions to the progression of anthropology as a discipline. Bastian's theory of the Elementargedanke led to Carl Jung's theory of archetypes. Adolf Bastian's work also had a great impact on Franz Boas and Joseph Campbell.

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 11 
Franz Nopcsa von Felso-Szilvas
(Geologist, Paleontologist and Albanologist)
Franz Nopcsa von Felso-Szilvas
0
Birthdate: May 3, 1877
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Deva, Romania
Died: April 25, 1933
 12 
Frances Densmore
(Anthropologist)
Frances Densmore
3
Birthdate: May 21, 1867
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Red Wing, Minnesota, United States
Died: June 5, 1957
 13 
James Mooney
(Ethnographer)
James Mooney
3
Birthdate: February 10, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Richmond, Indiana, United States
Died: December 22, 1921
 14 
Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay
(Russian Anthropologist Known for Being One of the First to Explore New Guinea and Oppose Slavery)
Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay
0
Birthdate: July 17, 1846
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yazykovo, Russia
Died: April 14, 1888

Russian explorer and anthropologist Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay was one of the first scientists to live with the indigenous community of New Guinea. Named the Moon Man by the Papuans for his ability to produce light through his lantern, he fought against slavery. He was idolized by both Russia and Australia.

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 15 
Hubert Howe Bancroft
3
Birthdate: May 5, 1832
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Granville, Ohio,United States
Died: March 2, 1918
 16 
Miguel Covarrubias
(Mexican Painter, Caricaturist, Illustrator, Ethnologist and Art Historian)
Miguel Covarrubias
3
Birthdate: November 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mexico City, Mexico
Died: February 4, 1957

Miguel Covarrubias donned many hats, and apart from being a painter and caricaturist, he was also a fine writer, an anthropologist, and an ethnologist. He explored the cultures of South East Asians and North American Indians and also co-discovered the Olmec Mesoamerican civilization. He designed theater sets and costumes, too.

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 17 
Raymond Firth
(New Zealand Ethnologist Known for His Research on the Maori and Other Peoples of Oceania and Southeast Asia)
Raymond Firth
3
Birthdate: March 25, 1901
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Died: February 22, 2002

Raymond Firth was a New Zealand ethnologist who is credited with creating a form of British economic anthropology. He also served at the London School of Economics as a Professor of Anthropology and his ethnographic work is greatly respected. Over the course of his illustrious career, Raymond Firth was honored with several prestigious awards, including the Viking Fund Medal.

 18 
Jovan Cvijić
(Geographer, Ethnologist)
Jovan Cvijić
0
Birthdate: September 12, 1865
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Loznica, Serbia
Died: January 16, 1927
 19 
Alsarah
(Ethnomusicologist, Musicologist)
Alsarah
3
Birthdate: 1982 AD
Birthplace: Khartoum, Sudan
 20 
Wilhelm Schmidt
(Linguist)
Wilhelm Schmidt
3
Birthdate: February 16, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hörde, Germany
Died: February 10, 1954
 21 
Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied
(German Naturalist, Explorer, and Ethnologist, Known for His Expeditions to Brazil and North America)
Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied
3
Birthdate: September 23, 1782
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Neuwied, Germany
Died: February 3, 1867

German naturalist, ethnologist, and explorer Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied is remembered for his pioneering expeditions to Brazil and to the American West. In the latter journey, he was accompanied by Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, who drew illustrations supporting Maximilian’s notes about the tribal culture and life there.

 22 
Eric von Rosen
(Explorer, Ethnographer)
Eric von Rosen
0
Birthdate: June 2, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Skeppsholm church parish
Died: April 25, 1948

Eric von Rosen was a Swedish explorer and ethnographer. An important figure in the Swedish upper class, Rosen gifted the newly independent state of Finland an aircraft in 1918, which signified the dawn of the Finnish Air Force. Eric von Rosen is also credited with popularizing the swastika in Sweden as he used the symbol as a personal owner's mark.  

 23 
Charles Gabriel Seligman
(British Physician and Ethnologist Known for His Detailed Ethnographical Work Races of Africa)
Charles Gabriel Seligman
3
Birthdate: December 24, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 19, 1940
Charles Gabriel Seligman was a British physician and ethnologist whose main ethnographic work described the culture of the Vedda people of Sri Lanka and the Shilluk people of the Sudan. He was a proponent of the Hamitic hypothesis and promoted scientific racism through his work. Considered to be a highly influential teacher, Seligman was also a Professor at the London School of Economics.
 24 
Amadou Hampâté Bâ
(He was an influential figure in twentieth-century African literature and cultural heritage)
Amadou Hampâté Bâ
0
Birthdate: 1901 AD
Birthplace: Bandiagara, Mali
Died: May 15, 1991
 25 
Frank Hamilton Cushing
(Anthropologist)
Frank Hamilton Cushing
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1857
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: North East Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 10, 1900
 26 
Gonçalves Dias
(Brazilian Romantic Poet, Playwright, Ethnographer and Linguist)
Gonçalves Dias
3
Birthdate: August 10, 1823
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Caxias, State of Maranhão, Brazil
Died: November 3, 1864

Gonçalves Dias was a Brazilian lawyer, poet, playwright, ethnographer, and linguist. A major figure of Brazilian Romanticism, he is credited with having composed Canção do exílio, often considered the best known poem of Brazilian literature. He was posthumously awarded the title of national poet of Brazil and is the patron of the 15th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters. 

 27 
Robert Ranulph Marett
(British Ethnologist Best Known for His Studies of the Evolution of Moral Philosophy and Religious Beliefs and Practices)
Robert Ranulph Marett
2
Birthdate: June 13, 1866
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Jersey, Channel Islands
Died: February 18, 1943
British ethnologist Robert Ranulph Marett was a proponent of the British Evolutionary School of cultural anthropology. He is noted for his studies of the evolution of moral philosophy and religious beliefs and practices. Marett helped found the Oxford University Anthropological Society in 1999. His major works include The Threshold of Religion, Anthropology as well as Psychology and Folklore.
 28 
Alice Cunningham Fletcher
2
Birthdate: March 15, 1838
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba
Died: April 6, 1923
 29 
James Cowles Prichard
2
Birthdate: February 11, 1786
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ross, England
Died: December 23, 1848
 30 
Alfred Cort Haddon
(British Anthropologist and Ethnologist)
Alfred Cort Haddon
2
Birthdate: May 24, 1855
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 20, 1940

A pioneer of British anthropology, Alfred Cort Haddon is remembered for his contribution of over three decades to Cambridge. While he initially went to the Torres Strait to study marine biology, he later devoted himself to the study of the indigenous people. His History of Anthropology remains his best-known work.

 31 
Ella Cara Deloria
(Anthropologist, Educator, Linguist, Ethnographer, and Novelist)
Ella Cara Deloria
2
Birthdate: January 31, 1889
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Yankton Reservation, South Dakota, United States
Died: February 12, 1971
 32 
Natalie Curtis
(Ethnomusicologist)
Natalie Curtis
2
Birthdate: April 26, 1875
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: October 23, 1921
 33 
Walter Baldwin Spencer
(Anthropologist)
Walter Baldwin Spencer
2
Birthdate: June 23, 1860
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stretford, England
Died: July 14, 1929

English biologist and anthropologist Walter Baldwin Spencer is remembered for his pioneering study of the indigenous population of Australia. He initially taught biology but later drifted to anthropology. He was also knighted but died while on an expedition to study the Ushuaia of the Tierra del Fuego.

 34 
William Bascom
(Anthropologist)
William Bascom
2
Birthdate: May 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Princeton, Illinois, United States
Died: September 11, 1981
 35 
Francis La Flesche
(Ethnologist)
Francis La Flesche
2
Birthdate: December 25, 1857
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Omaha Reservation, United States
Died: September 5, 1932
 36 
Shtjefën Gjeçovi
(Ethnologist)
Shtjefën Gjeçovi
2
Birthdate: July 12, 1874
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Janjevo, Prizren Vilayet, Kosovo
Died: October 14, 1929
 37 
Paul Rivet
(Ethnologist)
Paul Rivet
2
Birthdate: May 7, 1876
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wassigny, France
Died: March 21, 1958
 38 
Abraham Zevi Idelsohn
2
Birthdate: July 14, 1882
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Felixberg, Latvia
Died: August 14, 1938
 39 
William John McGee
(US Geologist, Anthropologist, and Ethnologist)
William John McGee
2
Birthdate: April 17, 1853
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Farley, Iowa, United States
Died: September 4, 1912

US geologist, ethnologist, and anthropologist William John McGee was associated with the US Geological Survey and the Bureau of American Ethnology. He was also a co-founder of the Geological Society of America and served the National Geographic Society as its president. California’s Mount McGee was named in his honor.

 40 
William Churchill
(Ethnologist)
William Churchill
0
Birthdate: October 5, 1859
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: June 8, 1920
 41 
Miguel Barnet
(Cuban Writer, Novelist and Ethnographer Best Known for His 'Biografia de Un Cimarrón' (1966))
Miguel Barnet
2
Birthdate: January 28, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba

Miguel Barnet is a Cuban writer, ethnographer, and novelist. He is best known for his 1966 work Biografia de un cimarrón, which became an archetype for ethnography in Latin America. His 1981 book Gallego was later adapted into a Cuban-Spanish movie of the same title. Miguel Barnet is a recipient of several prestigious awards including the National Prize for Literature. 

 42 
Matthias Castrén
(Finnish Nationalist and Pioneer in the Study of Arctic and Siberian Uralic and Altaic Languages)
Matthias Castrén
0
Birthdate: December 2, 1813
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tervola, Finland
Died: May 7, 1852

Matthias Castrén was a Finnish Swedish philologist and ethnologist. He served as an educator, linguist, and author at the University of Helsinki. Castrén is best remembered for his research in the ethnography and linguistics of the Finnic, Samoyedic, and Ugric peoples. In 1990, the M. A. Castrén Society was established in Helsinki in his honor.

 43 
Horatio Hale
(Ethnologist)
Horatio Hale
2
Birthdate: May 3, 1817
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Newport, New Hampshire, United States
Died: December 28, 1896
 44 
Paul-Émile Victor
(Ethnologist)
Paul-Émile Victor
2
Birthdate: June 28, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: March 7, 1995
Charles-Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg
1
Birthdate: September 8, 1814
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bourbourg, France
Died: January 8, 1874
 46 
Alfred Métraux
(Ethnologist, Anthropologist, and Human Rights Leader)
Alfred Métraux
2
Birthdate: November 5, 1902
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lausanne, Switzerland
Died: April 12, 1963

Alfred Métraux was an Argentine and Swiss ethnologist, anthropologist, and human rights leader. He is best remembered for his work with UNESCO's Department of Social Science. Alfred Métraux is also remembered for publishing landmark studies of the Incas, the ancient cultures of Easter Island, and Haitian voodoo. 

 47 
Julius Klaproth
(German Historian and Linguist Who Played an Important Role in Categorizing East Asian Studies as Scientific Disciplines)
Julius Klaproth
1
Birthdate: October 11, 1783
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: August 28, 1835

Julius Klaproth was a German historian, linguist, author, ethnographer, explorer, and orientalist. Along with Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat, Klaproth played an important role in categorizing East Asian Studies as scientific disciplines. As an Asiatologist, Julius Klaproth was well-versed in several Asian languages, such as Sanskrit, Manchu, Mongolian, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and Chinese.

 48 
Matilda Coxe Stevenson
(US Ethnologist and Pioneering Female Figure in Science)
Matilda Coxe Stevenson
1
Birthdate: May 12, 1849
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: San Augustine, Texas, United States
Died: June 24, 1915

US ethnologist Matilda Coxe Stevenson was a pioneering female figure in the scientific world. She was also the first woman to work for the Bureau of American Ethnology. She was known for her research on the indigenous Zuni community. She also helped establish the Women's Anthropological Society in Washington DC.

Georg August Schweinfurth
1
Birthdate: December 29, 1836
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Riga, Latvia
Died: September 19, 1925
 50 
Francis James Gillen
(Australian Anthropologist and Ethnologist Known for His Work with 'W. Baldwin Spencer')
Francis James Gillen
1
Birthdate: October 28, 1855
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Little Para, Australia
Died: June 5, 1912

Surprisingly, Francis James Gillen was not a trained anthropologist but learned much about the Aboriginal population of Australia while working with the Australian postal and telegraph service. As a recognition of his efforts, he was made the magistrate and sub-protector of the Aborigines. He also collaborated with British anthropologist Baldwin Spencer.