Crawford House Publishing
An Ethnology of the Kanak People of New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands 

For the first time translated into English and French, this study by Swiss scientist Fritz Sarasin (1859 to 1942) presents the anthropological knowledge of his period in a concise way. The knowledge comes from the collecting voyage he undertook with his companion Jean Roux, a zoologist. Their publication series, Nova Caledonia, was finalised by this volume, first published in 1929. It reports on the results of their ethnological collecting, of Sarasinís subsequent studies of available literature, and of his analysis of further museum collections in Europe. Sarasin presents his material in fourteen parts (see ĎContentsí, below).

Sarasinís book is accompanied by seventy-three plates, incorporating 101 field photographs, twenty-six sketch drawings, and photographs of more than 500 museum objects, mainly from the Sarasin Collection, now housed in the Museum der Kulturen Basel. Objects from collections in Bordeaux, Rome and Paris, among others, are also included.

A further thirty-two colour plates have been added. Two additional maps show the travel route taken by Sarasin and Roux, the languages of New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands, and the modern spellings of placenames Sarasin recorded as he travelled. Moreover, the translators have updated in their notes the scientific names of natural species, as well as the references to major ethnological studies, published later but referring to the same facts.

A biographical sketch by Christian Kaufmann, curator at the Museum der Kulturen Basel, places Fritz Sarasin and Jean Roux into the context of their origins and their other achievements.

A special introduction by a living Kanak aims to attract readers from across the Pacific to this new edition, to be published in French and English.

This Ethnology of the Kanak People from New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands, translated into English by Helen Brinon, and into French by Raymond Ammann and Bernard Gasser, can be viewed as a companion volume to Felix Speiserís Ethnology of Vanuatu: An Early Twentieth Century Study (translated from the German by Denis Q. Stephenson, published by Crawford House in 1991).


Fritz Sarasin






73 plates (incorporating 101field photographs, 26sketch drawings, more than500 museum objects); 32colour plates; maps


Portrait; hardcover; c. 520 pages


289 x 214 mm



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