Miklukho-Maklai, Nikolai Nikolaevich (18461888)
Dictionary Home
AnthroBase Home
Bookmark, cite or print this page

Russian anthropologist and explorer, acknowleded as the father of Russian ethnography. In 1871-72, Miklukho-Maklai did 15 months of continuous fieldwork on the Northern coast of New Guinea, where he pioneered methods that would only gain wide acceptance 40-50 years later, after Malinowski's fieldwork. Throughout his life, Miklukho-Maklai identified strongly with the people he studied, and he several times spoke out in their defence against colonialist powers. He laid the groundwork of the rich tradition of 19th century Russian ethnography, which continued well into Soviet times - until it was destroyed in Stalin's purges in the 1930's-50's.


Note on transcription: Like all Russian names, Miklukho-Maklai's must be transcribed from the cyrillic to the latin alphabet; and because of the different transcription traditions in various Western languages, his name appears in a variety of forms in library catalogues etc. The most important variations are: -ou- for -u-, and/or -ch- or -h- for -kh- in the first part of his family name; -ay- or -aj- for -ai- in the second part of his family name and in his first, given, name; -aie-, -aye- or -aje- for -ae-, and/or -tsch-, -tsj- or -tj- for -ch- in the second given name (patronymic); -c- for -k- in the second part of his family name; -w- for -v- in his patronymic.