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Provenances of Ethnographic Objects from Colonial Contexts in Central Hesse

Foto: Lena Naranjo

The Ethnographic Collection of the Oberhessisches Museum in Giessen and the Ethnographic Collection of the Philipps-Universität Marburg, in cooperation funded by the German Center for the Loss of Cultural Property, will research partial holdings of their collections for various colonial contexts. The holdings of the Giessen collection, which was founded in 1910, include a large number of objects from colonial contexts, particularly due to the period in which they were created during German formal colonial rule. The Ethnographic Collection of the Philipps-Universität Marburg was only founded in the 1920s, but likewise includes objects from colonial contexts, due in particular to the acquisition of sub-collections from other collections.

The aim of the research project is, on the one hand, to reconstruct the object biographies of approximately 60 objects from the region of East Africa (especially Tanzania) and from Cameroon. On the other hand, the emerging connections between the Marburg and Giessen collections are to be investigated. These connections are to be investigated in particular with regard to persons who were involved in the creation and development of both collections, but also with regard to concrete suspicious facts that have already become apparent during the preparation of the project.

The project not only intends to establish cooperation between the Marburg and Giessen collections in order to establish provenance research on objects from colonial contexts in Central Hesse. Likewise, cooperations with representatives in Tanzania and Cameroon are to be established in order to create a multifaceted research process that incorporates different perspectives. The cooperative research project thus represents an essential basis for future research projects of both collections and in the region of Central Hesse.

The research results will be published on the website of the Oberhessisches Museum Gießen as well as on the website of the Ethnographic Collection of the Philipps University Marburg in German and English.

Foto: Lena Naranjo


Project and Museum Leader Oberhessisches Museum: Dr. Katharina Weick-Joch 
Phone: 0641 960973-12
Scientific Assistant Oberhessisches Museum: Manuela Rochholl
Phone: 0641 960973-18

Ethnographic Collection Philipps University Marburg
Project and Collection Leader: Prof. Dr. Ernst Halbmayer
Scientific Assistant : Dr. Dagmar Schweitzer de Palacios
Phone : 06421 28-2311