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Du Puigaudeau, Odette (1894-1991)

The ethnographer and adventurer Odette du Puigaudeau (1894-1991), born into a family of penniless artists and nostalgic for the golden age of the Breton aristocracy, left home at the age of 26 to live off her talents as a draftswoman in Paris. The great adventure only began in 1933 on a lobster boat when she and her partner Marion Sénones landed in Port-Étienne, now Nouadhibou, in Mauritania. This seven-month peregrination was a revelation. She would leave with the title of chargé de mission for large scale camel journeys across the Western Sahara. Du Puigaudeau left an ethnographic and artistic work as varied as it is abundant, gleaned along the trails and in the privacy of the camps and ksour.

Keywords: Ethnography | French colonialism | Brittany | France | Morocco | Maghreb | Mauritania | Algeria | Paul Rivet | Marcel Griaule