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BEROSE ENCYCLOPAEDIA

Schmidt, Max (1874-1950)

Born in Germany, Max Schmidt (1874-1950) was part of a generation of young German ethnologists who carried out scientific expeditions in the Amazon, travelling to Brazil three times (1900-1901, 1910, 1926-1928). In 1935, he undertook further research in the Paraguayan Chaco to document the fragile situation of indigenous peoples after the end of the war between Bolivia and Paraguay (1932-1935). Schmidt was head of collections and archives at the Museum of Ethnology in Berlin and carried out comparative research until his death in Asunción. Far from racial stereotypes and excessive diffusionist theories, his work can be seen as a prefiguration of modern ethnographic methods.

Keywords: Ethnology | Museology/museography | Diffusionism | Ethnography | Ethnographic expeditions and missions | First half of the 20th century | Germany | Paraguay | Brazil | Chaco | Amazonia | Amerindian studies | Collections | Adolf Bastian | Karl von den Steinen | Ethnologisches Museum Berlin