Rare First Anthropological Study of the Arctic Nenets (Samoyed) Peoples

Antropologichesky Ocherk Samoyedov/ Iz Protokolov Zasedaniy Komiteta po Ustroistvu Antropologicheskoy Vystavki Imperatorskogo Obshchestva Liubiteley Estestvoznaniya, Antropologii i Etnografii. No. 27 [Anthropological Sketch of the Samoyeds/ From the Protocols of the Meetings of the Committee to Organize the Anthropological Exhibition of the Imperial Society of Devotees of Natural Science, Anthropology & Ethnography. No. 27].

Moscow: Typ. of M.N. Lavrov & Co., 1878. First and only edition. Folio (ca. 34x26 cm). 27 pp. With woodcut illustrations and musical notes in text. Original beige publisher’s wrappers. Wrappers slightly soiled, the rear wrapper with two small chips (of the inner blank corners), but overall a very good copy in a very original state.

Very rare Russian imprint with only one paper copy found in Worldcat . This is the first special anthropological essay on the Arctic Nenets (Samoyed) people, compiled by a young Russian zoologist, future professor of Moscow University (1888) and Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur Nikolay Zograf. In summer 1877, he travelled to the Kanin Peninsula (between the White and Barents Seas), visiting Semzha and Nes’ villages, settlements on the Shoyna and Yazhma River and Nenets tombs in the Yazhma forest – the northernmost forest on the eastern shore of the White Sea.
During his trip, Zograf conducted anthropometric measurements and observations of 48 Nenets men and women (present edition, p. 1). He conducted the measurements in accordance with the methods of Pierre Paul Broca, a pioneer of physical anthropology and craniometry, whose views are now considered racist. Zograf recorded and measured over eighty various physical parameters (age, height, pulse, breathing, hair colour and density, smoothness of skin, size of different body parts, the distance between them, etc.), and summarized the results in four tables. He thoroughly recorded names of all measured persons, i.e. Nikita Nikolayev Bogdashin (8 years old, from Shoyna), Katerina Kirillova Khanzerova (67 years old, from the upper reaches of the Tarkhanov River), Grigory Efremov Latyshev (27-30, Nes village), et al. Zograf also gave a brief overview of the previous Russian works touching the topic of Nenets anthropology. He ended the essay with notes on Nenets' overall health and most common diseases, their national character and added the musical notes of two Nenets melodies. According to his conclusions, Nenets people belonged to the Mongolian race.
The essay was specially prepared for the 1879 Anthropological Exhibition, organized by the Imperial Society of Devotees of Natural Science, Anthropology & Ethnography at Moscow University. The director and chief organizer of the exhibition was Zograf’s teacher, professor of Moscow University Anatoly Bogdanov (1834-1896). Zograf’s essay was published in the “Izvestiya Komiteta Antropologicheskoy Vystavki” (vol. 2, 1878) and as a separate offprint (in a limited number of copies). The book is illustrated with sixteen woodcut portraits of the Nenets people based on photographs. The book has never been translated into other languages and reissued in Russian.
Rare early work on the Nenets anthropology, compiled in accordance with the 19th-century scientific and racial concepts.

Item #360

Price: $1,500.00 USD