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Jan Czekanowski, a Polish Anthropologist between Two Eras of European Cultural History

Joanna Bar

Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków

Michał Tymowski

Uniwersytet Warszawski

Pour citer cet article

Bar, Joanna & Michał Tymowski, 2023. “Jan Czekanowski, a Polish Anthropologist between Two Eras of European Cultural History”, in Bérose - Encyclopédie internationale des histoires de l'anthropologie, Paris.

URL Bérose : article2971.html

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Résumé : Cet article retrace la trajectoire et dévoile l’œuvre ethnographique et anthropologique de l’africaniste et slaviste polonais Jan Czekanowski (1882-1965). Après avoir développé une méthode pionnière dans l’étude de la classification raciale, il a participé à l’expédition allemande en Afrique centrale de 1907-1909, au cours de laquelle il a mené des travaux de terrain dans la région des Grands Lacs. L’article analyse les résultats de ses recherches anthropologiques et ethnographiques en Afrique centrale - y compris sa documentation photographique - qui ont été publiés entre 1911 et 1927 dans un ouvrage en cinq volumes, Forschungen im Nil-Kongo-Zwischengebiet. L’article met également en lumière les études de Czekanowski sur l’ethnogenèse des Slaves, entreprises après et sous l’effet de la Première Guerre mondiale, ainsi que son rôle de créateur de l’école d’anthropologie physique de Lwów, concomitamment à sa carrière académique en tant que professeur à l’université de Lwów de 1913 à 1941. S’appuyant à la fois sur des sources publiées et des documents d’archives largement ignorés en dehors de la Pologne, l’article réévalue la place de Czekanowski dans l’histoire disciplinaire en tant qu’anthropologue cosmopolite lié à de nombreuses sociétés savantes européennes.


Jan Czekanowski (1882–1965) was a Polish anthropologist, ethnographer, Africanist and Slavicist. He studied at the University of Zürich and created the diagraphic method in human biometry. This was a pioneering approach to the study of racial classification and research of the structure of human populations. From 1907 to 1909 he took part in the German Central-African Expedition, during which he conducted field research in the interlacustrine region of Africa. He published a five-volume work (Forschungen…) about the results of his African anthropological and ethnographic research and comprehensive photographic documentation. He was a professor at the University of Lwów from 1913 to 1941 and the creator of the Lwów school of physical anthropology. After World War I he also developed research on the ethnogenesis of the Slavs. After World War II he was professor at the University of Poznań from 1946 to 1960.

Czekanowski was a member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences from 1924, the Polish Academy of Sciences from 1952, and an honorary and corresponding member of numerous European associations of anthropologists.

From Głuchów, Warsaw and Libau to Zürich and Berlin

The youngest of four siblings, Jan Czekanowski was born on 6 October 1882 on the Głuchów estate belonging to his father Wincenty Czekanowski. His mother, Amelia von Guthke, was of German descent. At the time, Głuchów was in the Russian Partition – the portion of Poland that had been part of the Russian Empire from 1815 to 1915. The young boy was initially schooled at home, then in Warsaw. He passed his secondary school leaving exam in 1901 in Libau, then in Latvia and also part of the Russian Empire. He volunteered for the army, but was discharged when found to be a Catholic. He then set off on a tourist trip to Italy, after which, in 1902, he became a student at the Department of Philosophy of Zürich University.

Czekanowski studied physical (or biological) anthropology with Prof. Rudolf Martin and, at the same time, anatomy with Prof. Georg Rugge, mathematics with Prof. Heinrich Burhardt and ethnography with Prof. Oskar Stoll. In 1903, he gave a lecture at the Congress of German Anthropologists in Worms about the measurement of human skulls. In it, he made use of Pearson’s correlation coefficient, named after the English mathematician and statistician Karl Pearson. [1]

During his studies, Czekanowski collected material about the use of the correlation coefficient in the study of muscular anomalies in humans. In the anniversary volume dedicated to Franz Boas, he published a short article laying out the results of his research. [2]

In 1906 Czekanowski completed his studies in Zürich and earned his PhD. The following year, he published the introduction to his dissertation as a separate publication devoted to statistical methods in anthropological studies. [3] Czekanowski’s studies in Zürich and his first publications set the course for his future research in the application of statistical methods in physical anthropology.

That year, Prof. Felix von Luschan offered Czekanowski a position as assistant at the Africa and Oceania Department of the Königlische Museum für Völkerkunde (Royal Museum of Ethnology) in Berlin. Czekanowski began work at the museum in 1906 and, at the same time, he continued his studies in mathematics at the University of Berlin.


Felix von Luschan submitted Czekanowski’s candidacy as anthropologist and ethnographer for the Deutsche Zentral-Afrika Expedition, an expedition to Central Africa organized by Prince Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg. The expedition included the botanist Dr Johannes Mildbraed, the zoologist Dr Hans Schubotz, the geologist Dr Egon Friedrich Kirschstein, and the topographer Lieutenant Max Weiss. The expedition’s physician was Dr Werner von Raven, a specialist in tropical diseases. On account of their distinct research methods, each of the scholars headed their own caravan and followed a separate itinerary. Regular meeting places were planned to share research results and for provisioning. Under the auspices of the Duke of Mecklenburg, supplies and other organizational matters were handled by Lieutenant Walter von Wiese. Each of the caravans had from 30 to 50 porters, and several Askari native soldiers commanded by a sergeant. Missionary headquarters, especially those of the Missionaries of Africa, also known as White Fathers, or military outposts where small detachments of colonial troops were stationed served as stopovers.

Czekanowski’s participation in the expedition was made possible by a government stipend, which entailed specific obligations for him. These included carrying out anthropological measurements and ethnographic research. His duties included acquiring and describing crafts, tools, weapons, costumes, ornaments and sending them to Berlin, and documenting his work by several means including photographs (on glass plates) and recordings (on phonograph rolls). He also kept a diary about his research.

The itinerary of the expedition initially led through German East Africa, beginning in Bukoba on the west coast of Victoria-Niansa Lake, from where the expedition set off on 15 June 1907. Through successive provinces in the state of Rwanda, the expedition arrived at the seat of its ruler, and then to the northern coast of Lake Kiwu and to Fort Portal in the Kingdom of Toro, which was part of the British Protectorate of Uganda. The next stage included the north-eastern territories of the Independent State of Congo. The itinerary ran through Awakubi, Nepoko, Ajamu and back to Irumu. It was there that, in March 1908, Czekanowski’s caravan met with the other caravans and the expedition leaders for the last time. The itinerary from Bukoba to Irumu was about 2,600 km long. The expedition’s participants traveled across Congo to the Atlantic coast, from where they set sail for Europe. Only Czekanowski continued the work of the expedition, in accordance with the original plans. From April 1908 to April 1909 he studied the people living in the borderlands between Congo and Sudan. These areas were inhabited by the Azande and many other ethnic (cultural) groups. In the north-westerly direction, he went as far as Amadi. On the way back he passed through Entebbe, from where he went to Gumbari on the Nile and to Europe. During the second part of this expedition, the caravan travelled about 3,750 km. According to Czekanowski’s calculations, during the entire expedition he spent half the time en route, mostly walking with his caravan. The second half was spent on stationary fieldwork. Czekanowski interacted with people and gained their confidence with ease. He spoke several European languages and Swahili.

The king [Kassagama, king of Toro] received me kindly...Since I did not know Runyoro, the conversation took place in Kisuaheli. After the usual greetings, I informed the king about our expedition [...]. Then we discussed the history of the Toro kingdom. The king was enchanted by this topic, as well as by the past of the other states [...]. The king went out and came back with a thick notebook filled with legible and neat writing. Since Sir Apollo Kagwa, First Minister to the King of Buganda, had published the history of his country, the King of Toro [...] had decided to write it himself. As I had mentioned that I had Sir Apollo’s book, he showed me his own manuscript. He refused to lend it to me, but promised to dictate it himself while translating it into Kisuaheli. (Czekanowski 1958, p. 178) [4]

He could also make himself understood in other local languages. Here are some examples taken from daily contacts and discussions :

In Bagoye […] in thanks for a gift, I was told :
ulakarama ulakahora n’Imana [transl.] may you live, may you meet God (Diary…, manuscript, vol. 4, p. 381) ;
Balioko […] is not the name of a tribe.
Abaliokio nu muliangu ? Is Balioko a tribe (clan) ?
Oya, su muliangu No, it is not a tribe (ibid.)

In Mawambi, in the east of the Congo :

The head of the post [...] the Bulgarian Athanasoff, called by the Africans Popisofo [...]. When I arrived, he was very gloomy. He had been missing coffee, the favourite drink of the Bulgarians, for several weeks [...]. I hastened to share my coffee supply with him [...]. We spoke in Russian, which reinforced both his cordiality and his nostalgia [...]. We set off on Sunday 23 February. The Bulgarian [...] went with me for a while. [...] It was a last opportunity for him to speak Russian, which he really liked ... [but] he almost unconsciously fell back into [Bulgarian]. But I understood him quite well. I finally saw the usefulness of my arduous learning of the language of the Slavic Orthodox Church when I was in the fourth grade [...]. It now helped me to understand Popisofo, who was in a state of excitement. (Czekanowski 1958, pp. 300, 304, 318) [5]

Czekanowski took good care of his porters and escort. He had considerable sums to purchase artifacts. Before returning to Europe, he had sent to Berlin over 4,000 ethnographic exhibits, 700 photographs with detailed descriptions, 87 phonograms (recordings of songs, recitations, and playing of drums and other instruments). In his diary he included dictionaries, the texts of oral traditions, myths, legends, songs and oral literature in numerous languages.

Rwanda, Mulera province – from a collection of songs in the Diary :
Bgahihende?}Who cut the grass? Solo begins: {Bgahihende we, bgahihende}?    Who cut, oh, who cut? And everyone repeats after each verse: {Bgahih abana be manzabigwe ? A bunch of kids cut it ?
Bgahihumugore na mugabo}?    A woman and a man cut it? {Nyiramukunzi ninkunzingoma Nyiramukunzi (woman’s name) is the drum’s lover (i.e., she loves the chief)
Nyiramubyeyi wambyay`ingabo Nyiramubyeyi (woman’s name) gave me a shield (gave birth to a boy) (Czekanowski, Diary…, manuscript, vol. 4, p. 338).

Much of Czekanowski’s work was devoted to physical anthropology. He collected 1,016 skulls, carried out measurements of 4,500 persons, made plaster casts of 36 faces. His diary, in which entries were made on an ongoing basis, took up ten A4-format notebooks of 100 pages each and five A5-format notebooks.

After returning to Berlin, he continued his research in the methodology of physical anthropology research. In a 1909 publication he proposed a new taxonomic method called the Czekanowski diagraphic method. [6]

Photo 1.
Jan Czekanowski. Photo from the period of the African Expedition (1907–1909).
From the family collection of Prof. Anna Czekanowska-Kuklińska.

Saint Petersburg and Lwów

In early 1910, Czekanowski married the daughter of an Orthodox priest from Tula (Russia), Elizaveta (Elisabeth) Sergiyevska, whom he had met in Zürich where she was studying medicine. They had two daughters, Zofia (1927–1993) and Anna (1929–2021).

In late 1910 Czekanowski returned to Russia, where he was appointed junior custodian of African collections at the Ethnographic Museum of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St-Petersburg. There, he worked on developing criteria for evaluating anthropological measurements. [7] At the same time, he worked intensively on the preparation of the first volume about his expedition to Africa.

In 1913, Czekanowski was invited to do his habilitation and occupy the chair of anthropology at the University of Lwów, located in Galicia, a formerly Polish area part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At the time, Galicia had considerable internal autonomy as well as two universities (in Cracow and Lwów), which made independent research possible. In the fall of 1913, Czekanowski took over the chair and became associated with that university for many years. [8] In 1918, when Poles and Ukrainians fought over Lwów, Czekanowski went to Paris, where he advised the Polish delegation at the Versailles Peace Conference, and worked there until early 1920. In April of that year, he was appointed full professor at the Jan Kazimierz University in Lwów (in Poland during the interwar years) and resumed the classes that had been interrupted by the war. From 1934 to 1936 he was rector of the university and became a member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences.

On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. When the Soviet Union did the same on September 17, Poland’s eastern provinces, with Lwów, came under communist rule. Arrests began, with Poles being deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan, but Czekanowski escaped deportation. Within days of Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, the German occupation authorities drew up a list of Lwów professors, whom they executed on July 4, 1941. Czekanowski owed his removal from this list to one of his Ukrainian doctoral students (whose identity Czekanowski could not reveal after the war for obvious reasons). The university was closed down, but Czekanowski could work at home. He left Lwów in early May 1944, before the arrival of Soviet troops, and managed to take his collections with him.

Lublin and Poznań

In May 1945, Czekanowski became chair of the Department of Anthropology and Ethnology at the Catholic University in Lublin. In March 1946, he also became chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Poznań. He worked at both universities until 1948, then only in Poznań. He continued his research and mentored many younger anthropologists and Slavicists. He became a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1952, and retired in 1960.

Czekanowski passed away on July 20, 1965, in Szczecin, where he had gone in connection with archaeological excavations taking place there. A monument to Jan Czekanowski was erected in Szczecin thanks to the efforts of ethnologist and Africanist Prof. Jacek Łapott, following consultations with Polish sculptor and performer Paweł Althamer. It was made using the ancient West African lost-wax method by an artist from Burkina Faso – Youssouf Touré, called Derme, or Rasta by his friends, along with his team. It depicts Czekanowski sitting on a trunk, as he looked at a photo from the time of his expedition to Africa. [9]

Photo 2.
Monument to Jan Czekanowski erected in 2012 in Szczecin.
Photo © Jacek Łapott

Czekanowski as Anthropologist, Ethnographer, Africanist and Slavicist

Forschungen im Nil-Kongo-Zwischengebiet

One of Czekanowski’s tasks was to summarize the results of his research in Africa. In a collective eight-volume monumental work containing the expedition’s results, [10] those worked out by Czekanowski took up five volumes on account of the unusual quantity of materials he had collected, and were given a separate title and separate numbering. The publication of these five volumes lasted from 1911 to 1927. [11]

While Czekanowski was primarily a physical anthropologist, in preparing the Forschungen im Nil-Kongo-Zwischengebiet (explorations in the region between the Nile and the Congo) he created a work on the culture, in the widest sense, of the peoples he studied. At the same time, he continued his research in physical anthropology and spent much time analysing the results of biometric data and traits proper to various groups inhabiting the interlacustrine area.

Two volumes of the Forschungen (1 and 2) contain exhaustive monographic descriptions of migration, settlement, the economy, the social and political organization, customs, rituals, religion, traditions, mythology, oral literature and languages of specific peoples. In Vol. 1, most of the chapters concern the Rwanda area, along with Mpororo and Nkole. The volume is accompanied by a supplement with musical material, sheet music and song lyrics. Vol. 2 contains descriptions of the culture of the peoples of the north-eastern territories of the Independent State of Congo and the areas bordering Sudan.

Of particular interest to Czekanowski as an ethnographer was the phenomenon of migration of the successive peoples who inhabited the territories of the interlacustrine area and the identification of these waves of settlement, which he did by analysing objects of material culture, myths and oral tradition. He studied the phenomena of cultural exchange and the emergence of political structures arising from migration, as well as the subject of dependence, domination and coexistence among different groups of people. The following is an excerpt from the manuscript version of the Diary, in which Czekanowski, using as specific examples the differences that exist in Rwanda between power over people and power over territory, illustrates the ties between power over people and ethnic and clan divisions, and the competition between individuals exercising different types of power :

I met Lukara in Nyansa because he was detained at Musinga’s court, being too bellicose. [...] He had been waiting for eight months there for court proceedings with Luhanda, the [ruler’s] representative in Mulera. Since he couldn’t find a way to return home, he came to ask me (through Dufays’ father) to request him with Musinga as a guide, which is what actually happened. He travelled to Mulera-Ruasa with Father Dufays and me [...]. [Presently] Lukara is more powerful than Batutsi. This is so because he relies on his Barashi, who belong to his clan [...]. Lukara is a Muhutu and does not depend directly on the king, but on his [local] overlord. Therefore, he feels greater than Batutsi, but he is less refined, more peasant-like in his behaviour. He is ashamed [for this reason] and always passes himself off as a Mututsi. He is not a feudal lord. He is only a Barashi chief recognized by the king. To this dignity, which is unknown [to] Barashi, was appointed his father Bishingwe [who] was a very talented hunter and brought to [Rwanda’s King] Lwabugiri many elephant tusks and hides. Outside of his Barashi, however, Lukara has no significant power or authority. When he wanted to send a man to fetch water for us and he refused, he pushed him. The man only said “I am not a Murashi”. [12] An infuriated Lukara calmed down, asked about his father and left [him] alone. As a chief and clan leader recognized by the king, Lukara governs in uninhabited areas and the strangers he has settled are indeed dependent on him and he can chase them away. He also sends them to fetch water. The territory settled by the Barashi, about 6-8000 souls, very fertile [...]. Up to 20 Batwa hunters live in the jungle near Lukara (Czekanowski, Diary… manuscript, vol. 3, pp. 273–274).

Vol. 3 and 5 of the Forschungen contain unique, highly valuable photographic material, a total of 306 photos. Each is accompanied by a detailed description and precise information on the time, place and circumstances in which it was taken. The documentation concerns people, homesteads, costumes, tools, weapons, instruments, ornaments, agricultural and craftwork performed, ceremonies and rituals. In Vol. 3 Czekanowski included a concise list of the groups of people in the areas under study, distinguished in terms of biological anthropology traits and cultural features.

Photo 3.
Two Azande girls from Risasi’s village.
From the family collection of Prof. Anna Czekanowska-Kuklińska.

A photograph of two girls (older and younger sisters), shown in half-profile makes it possible to see the shape of their hairstyles. The hair is fastened in a knot on a base made of a strand of grass. The function of this knot is to arrange the hair in a way that makes it swing back and forth coquettishly as the girls move. There is a clear difference between the hairstyle of the older and younger sisters. The younger one’s hairstyle is not yet finished, which is indicated by the comb that is placed in it. The older one’s hairstyle is already fixed using strands hanging on the forehead and fixing the hair that falls vertically in the back. The photo also documents the Azande girls’ distinctive copper wire rings worn on the fourth finger of the right hand. The girls also wear necklaces and bracelets on their wrists and above their ankles, as well as scarification on their forearms, and the older sister also on the side of her abdomen. Attention is drawn to the protruding areolas of the girls’ breasts. In the background one can see a round hut with a conically shaped thatched roof and a notable one-metre high protrusion at the base of the hut. Photo from the photo album of the family collection belonging to Prof. Anna Czekanowska-Kuklińska, reproduced by Krystyna Muszyńska-Brzezińska and described in keeping with Forschungen… vol. 5 (1927), pp. 4-5, photo (Tafel) 8.

Vol. 4 of Forschungen contains biometric anthropological data, measurements of living persons and tables prepared by Czekanowski. Vol. 6, devoted to skull measurements, did not appear in the Forschungen series, but was only published in Poland after World War II in the form of an extensive article. [13]

The Diary – The Original Manuscript and Printed Fragments, Enlarged and Commented

Czekanowski systematically documented his work in the field with extensive entries in his diary. The text (well over 1,000 pages) is mostly in German, about 30% is in French, a small portion in Swahili, small sections in Polish, and occasional words in Russian. The entries were made in haste, with little attention to grammar and spelling. Using carbon paper, Czekanowski produced two identical copies at once. One was sent to the Royal Museum of Ethnology in Berlin, while the author kept the other.

The Diary was to be the basis for the preparation of the Forschungen. It seems that the author did not initially think of publishing it, at least not in the form in which he wrote it. However, in 1937 Czekanowski received a proposal from the Polish Ministry of Religious Denominations and Public Enlightenment to prepare a supplemented version of the Diary with commentary. It was assumed that the work would appear in three volumes.

In 1939 Czekanowski submitted Part One of his Diary in Polish for publication. The text he submitted was lost during the war along with the entire archives of the ministry. Only a small fragment concerning Czekanowski’s youth and the beginning of the expedition up to the arrival in Bukoba survived. [14] Part Two, which was ready for publication before the war, was kept by Czekanowski and published in Poland in 1958. [15] A French edition, translated and edited by Lidia Meschy, with an introduction by Georges Balandier, was published in 2001. [16] Part Three survived the war in the form of loose notes.

Thus, we have only a small fragment of Part One and Part Two of the Polish edition of the Diary and its French translation. The Polish and the French translation are in many places more extensive than the manuscript. Czekanowski supplemented the printed text with his recollections and with material from his correspondence. Besides descriptions of his field research, he included information about relations between the expedition’s participants, disputes and conflicts, comments on individuals, and his own views and national feeling.

The author’s observations about the political and social life of the peoples he studied are of great importance in both versions of the Diary. Given the very limited influence that the English and German authorities had at the beginning of the 20th century on the functioning of local social and political structures in their colonies, Czekanowski saw the situation he studied as a kind of reserve of traditional structures that made it possible, using the method of retrogression, to study their functioning in the past. [17] As to the future, he foresaw the growing conflict between Tutsis and Hutus. He appraised the situation in the Independent State of Congo separately. In both versions of the Diary, he included numerous detailed observations and statements of a general nature that were highly critical of the exploitation and draconian methods of repression the Congolese people lived under. He described numerous examples of revolt and escape by the exploited population and the breakdown of traditional structures, such as these :

3 March 1908
The population of the Avakubi post [amounts to] somewhat above 3,000 locals and above 8,000 Wangwana. These 3,000 (nearly) locals provided up to 12 tons of rubber monthly, now the norm has been set at 6 tons. As a result of exploitation, [rubber] production has fallen so much that the last harvest brought 2½ tons. At the time of greatest exploitation, Avakubi yielded 12 tons, Makala 6 tons (more residents than in Avakubi), Nepoko 6–8 tons, Irumu up to 1 ton, and Mawambi ½ ton.
This production was achieved in 1900–1904. After these years came revolts ; the first [in] 1903–1904, the second [in] 1906. The sting was overpulled, revolts continue even now, except in Irumu and Nepoko. Now Barumbi, Babali and part of Medje have revolted. In the end, rebellion in Congo has become chronic. (Diary..., manuscript, vol. 7, p. 607).

10 March 1908 – Nepoko
Sixty tons of rubber are lying in the sheds, a six-month harvest that cannot be [shipped] quickly due to transportation shortages. The eastern part of the area is revolté, that is, people have gone into the brush because of the prestations, abandoning their villages. Prestations are a burden here, because one has to walk to the forest some 10 hours away. This is still nothing compared to the situation in the area of Ajamu. The Momvu, in order to liberate themselves from the rubber, have cut the lianas so that the forest is depleted. Now to bring in the prestations they walk [as punishment] 5–6 days south to Balese. I was under the impression that those 40 heures par mois were a fictitious quantity. Nime choka ya kazi – [Swahili – I have enough of work] as Apuna told me. [Diary... manuscript, vol. 7, p. 631)

13 March 1908 – Andudu
In Andudu I met a black corporal with eight soldiers, because the white one, Fariard (if I’m not mistaken) went with the natives to the Walese forest, [to] gather rubber. The Momvu, in order to free themselves from the rubber tax, cut the lianas and fell the rubber trees .... As a result, the forest here is depleted ... Discontent with the rubber regime is very high. The entire population has fled into the wilderness, so that no people can be seen on the road, quite like on the Beni-Mawambi road. I also saw rebels here on a ’chain’, which is a liana here. They were six women and two old men (♂). (Diary..., manuscript, vol. 7, p. 634).

The publication of the entire manuscript of the Diary in the original languages and in Polish translation is in preparation.

Research in Methodology, Physical Anthropology and Biometrics

The methodological approaches Czekanowski proposed in his 1909 and 1911 publications are discussed further in his textbook published in 1913. [18] He summarized his opinions in 1962 :

The object of anthropology consists of the description of human groups. Anthropology becomes a mathematical-statistical problem if we consider the individual as a point in the n-dimensional space of analytical mechanics. His position in n-dimensional space will then be determined by his n coordinates, which are given by the values of the respective anthropological features we take into account. … As early as 1909 I showed that the points corresponding to the individuals can be proved to form aggregations (condensations, concentrations), and the latter correspond to the various races or racial complexes of the morphologists. This is exemplified, for instance, by the graphic isolation from others of the skulls considered to belong to the Neanderthal race. (Czekanowski, 1962, p. 481)

In the decades that followed, he continued his research in physical anthropology and methodology. He considered that biometric methods made the objective description of human physical traits possible. These in turn arose from the laws of genetics as formulated by Georg Mendel. [19] Czekanowski viewed the set of hereditary traits that determine distinct human types as the basis for defining human races. He regarded races as a real biological component of the human species. [20] He used the comparative method in his studies of biological human transformations over time. For Czekanowski, anthropology was a science concerned with the biological basis for historical and social processes. [21] He saw ethnography, on the other hand, as a science based on the analysis of human cultures, enabling a reconstruction of the past using the retrogressive method. Czekanowski’s method was thus characterized by historicism. [22]

With regard to the analysis of the racial composition of human groups, Czekanowski sought to determine a set of traits (criteria) proper to a given population. The basis of his research was bone material but also anthropological measurements from different eras. The stages of the anthropologist’s work were : determination of the population group to which given individuals belonged on the basis of their physical traits ; a comparative analysis of the population groups of a given area ; and a historical analysis of changing anthropological traits over time.

Czekanowski recorded and organized anthropological material in the form of cartograms relating to different eras or periods. Statistical methods allowed him to learn about the intensity of relationships between phenomena occurring closely in time. By so doing, Czekanowski determined the geographic extent of the presence of specific racial types characteristic of certain populations over a given period.

Czekanowski’s cartograms were synchronous and static in nature. On the other hand, their chronological order and the introduction of a correlation coefficient of phenomena made it possible to track (also retrogressively) the direction of changes and long-term historical processes. [23] This was a dynamic approach.

The Ethnogenesis and Ancient Homeland of the Slavs

In the interwar period, Czekanowski pursued his interest in the ethnogenesis of the Slavs and attempted to define the area where they had emerged. He published Wstęp do historii Słowian (Introduction to the History of the Slavs) and Zarys antropologii Polski (Outline of the Anthropology of Poland) in Polish. [24] The discussion about the origins and ancient homeland of the Slavs had been going on in Polish historical and archaeological research since the early 19th century. Some scholars placed the original homeland of the Slavs in eastern or south-eastern Europe, even in areas bordering upon Asia, while others held that the Slavs were indigenous to Central Europe.

Czekanowski argued for the latter. He placed the original settlements of the Slavs east of the Germanic peoples and south-west of the Baltic peoples. In support of this thesis, he used arguments drawn from anthropology, ethnography, archaeology and linguistics. He studied the types of agricultural tools, carts, harnesses, and the construction of huts using the retrogressive method. Czekanowski’s linguistic research dealt with Slavic terminology for plants, especially trees, juxtaposed with the geographical range of their occurrence, and investigated the borrowing of some names from Germanic languages. He organized anthropological, linguistic and botanic material chronologically and used a comparative approach in analysing it.

In the discussion about the location of the lands of the ancient Slavs, the word for beech (Fagus sylvatica) plays a most important role... Hermann Hirt (1907, pp. 124, 183, 623) states that the word for beech is of Pre-Indo-European stock, [while] pointing out that it is missing among the Slavs… [although] Slavic languages are rich in ancient tree names. The growth range of beech thus represents, according to Hirt, the basis for the location of the Slavs’ ancient lands in the Pripyat river basin. This hypothetical Slavic area exceeds only slightly the limits of the growth range of beech in the southern direction. [To the west of the Pripyat river basin, the Slavs did not come into contact with beech... However, the research of Władysław Szafer (1919) showed that the beech growth range boundaries ran elsewhere… In the Vistula river basin they grew only in an area at the foot of the mountains (in the south) and by the sea (in the north). In the middle Vistula river basin and that of the Warta [an affluent of the Odere beech was absent…. It was in this area that the Slavs borrowed the name for beech from the Germans. [Arguments about the distribution of flora and linguistic arguments] thus place the ancient homeland of the Slavs in the area of the middle Vistula river basin, including the adjacent part of the Oder river basin... Additional linguistic and flora-related arguments are related to the names and growth range of yew (Taxus baccata), ivy (Hedera helix), and hornbeam (Carpinus betula) (Romer 1921). [The limits of the range of these plants are defined by Romer immediately east of the Vistula basin]... The three above-mentioned plants were known to the early Slavs [their names appear in the language of the proto-Slavs]... If we consider the territory of the ancient Slavs to be the area where there is no beech but where hornbeam, ivy and yew grow, then its eastern boundary did not extend beyond the Vistula river basin. Ultimately, the flora-linguistic discussion, with the correctly accepted growth ranges of beech, hornbeam, yew and ivy... [speaks] against the location of the ancient Slavic homeland in the Pripyat river basin, but points to the Vistula river basin with the adjacent part of the Oder river basin. This is in line with the geographical implications of Hirt’s diagram revealing the affinities between Indo-European languages. (Czekanowski 1957 (1st Edition 1927), selected fragments from pp. 146–150).

The Czekanowski School

After 1945, Czekanowski continued his research on the ethnogenesis and geographic origins of the Slavs. He collected new material and supplemented his arguments in 1957, in the second, expanded edition of Wstęp do historii Słowian (Introduction to the History of the Slavs). He published a new academic textbook [25] and supplemented versions of his earlier works, including the third edition of his Człowiek w czasie i przestrzeni (Humankind in Time and Space), [26] which was published posthumously. He also published two important works related to his African expedition. The aforementioned 100-page article entitled Crania Africana, [27] and the excellent description of pastoral states of the interlacustrine area, contained, among other things, fragments describing the setting for the recitation of oral traditions at the court of Rwanda’s ruler. [28]

During his time in Lwów, Czekanowski formed a groups of a dozen anthropologists who went on to research issues related to human races, the ethnogenesis of the Slavs and the population of the Polish lands in the past and present, using the methods developed by their master. [29] Research done by some members of the Czekanowski school also focused on non-European lands and peoples, including the indigenous peoples of America. [30] Five members of this group did not survive World War II. One of them, an officer, was killed in action against the Germans in 1939, some perished in the Lwów Ghetto and in Auschwitz. [31] Others died immediately after the war. Czekanowski bid farewell to his disciples in obituaries published in Przegląd Antropologiczny. During the post-war period, the principal continuator of Czekanowski’s research in physical anthropology was Adam Wanke. Czekanowski managed to form more disciples and reconstituted his biological anthropology school, which took over and continued the methods he had created. Czekanowski influenced the research of younger anthropologists dealing with the ethnogenesis and the origins of the Slavs. Research conducted within the framework of the many Polish archaeological missions to Egypt and Sudan, especially the one to Faras, were greatly indebted to Czekanowski and his methods. [32]

The Importance of Jan Czekanowski’s Scientific Legacy

In Biological Anthropology

Jan Czekanowski considered his research in physical anthropology and the method of diagraphic typology he developed to be the most important part of his work as a scholar. In his view, the use of mathematical and statistical methods in the analysis of anthropological data removed subjective considerations from his work and ensured its objectivity. In the first decades of the 20th century, this method gained recognition among scholars the world over. Czekanowski was a scholar of world standing and was a member of many international associations of anthropologists.

Racism and the crimes committed during the Second World War led to a significant reduction in, or the negation of, the use of racial analysis in anthropology. Czekanowski rejected ‘the excesses of passionately propagated Nazism’. [33] He did not abandon his concept of races, but stated that ‘it is a very long road from significant differences to a serious justification of attempted valuations’. [34] He opposed eugenic ideas and actions which he considered as “an attack on the penal code which is a guarantee of civil liberties”. [35] He defended his views well into the 1960s, when a discussion between Tadeusz Bielicki and Andrzej Wierciński concerning research on the classification of human populations and Czekanowski’s response were published in Current Anthropology. [36] Anthropologists from many countries took part in this discussion. In Poland, anthropologists from the Czekanowski school ceased being physical anthropologists and began calling themselves biological anthropologists, defining themselves as population biologists. Thus, research in biological anthropology continues to be conducted, but not in relation to races, but to individual populations, eras and cultures, contemporary and historical.

The discovery of DNA and the results of genetic research have also contributed to this transformation. In keeping with such research, the genetic diversity of the human species is slight, and genetic variation within a given population is greater than the variation that occurs between populations. This precludes the existence of human races. The morphological traits of individual populations are thought to be related to environmental and sociocultural factors. The concepts of race are now studied with reference to the past, including to the Lwów typological school. [37] Also studied are the views held by contemporary anthropologists on the existence and definition of human races. [38]

In Slavic Studies

As we have seen above, as early as during his Lwów period, Czekanowski argued in his work that the Slavs were indigenous to Central Europe. After the Second World War, and especially during the communist period of 1945–1990, research into the homeland of the Slavs was subject to pressures and expectations from politicians and the public alike. For those politicians and an important segment of the public during this period, the thesis that the Slavs had originated in the Vistula and Oder river basins served to justify additional, special Polish rights to this area in the 20th century. This was due to a sense of threat that characterized Poland before and after the Second World War. Discussions concerning the ancient homeland of the Slavs go on to this day, but they no longer involve such strong emotions, and are focused on scientific arguments. A book by anthropologists Janusz Piontek, Beata Iwanek and Sergey Segeda is an attempt to summarize this research, including the indigenous thesis. [39]

In African Studies

Czekanowski’s research into Africa drew considerable interest from the years immediately following the expedition until the 1960s. The dictionary material contained in Czekanowski’s Diary was used by linguists. The division of the population into linguistic and cultural groups proposed by Czekanowski was included in the fundamental work of Hermann Baumann and Diedrich Westermann, [40] and that of Charles Gabriel Seligman. [41] Edward Evans-Pritchard made use of Czekanowski’s extensive material concerning the position of women in societies of the interlacustrine area and the documentation concerning the Azande people. [42]

Czekanowski’s scholarly output has been cited in successive works on the pre-colonial state of Rwanda, starting with those of Jacques Maquet, George Peter Murdock, Jan Vansina and Marcel d’Hertefelt. [43] In 1964, a book issued in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Jan Czekanowski’s scholarly work was published in Poland, and included an article written by Adam Wanke devoted to Czekanowski’s anthropological achievements in biological anthropology, and articles by other authors discussing his achievements in African studies. [44] Interest in Czekanowski’s work outside Poland waned among the younger generation of linguists, ethnologists and historians of Africa. They were widely cited, but in a general manner, with no detailed analysis of the author’s work or views.

Many factors contributed to this. Czekanowski’s works on Africa were published mainly in German and Polish. After the Second World War, knowledge of German among younger scholars declined. Moreover, Forschungen was a publication that was difficult to access until a digital version of it was put online. Publications in Polish, especially post-war ones, such as the printed part of the Diary and Feudalne państwa pasterskie afrykańskiego Międzyjezierza (Feudal Pastoral States of the African Interlacustrine Area), [45] were unknown outside Poland. As a result, Jean-Pierre Chrétien wrote about the ‘forgotten work of Czekanowski’ in one of his works, and gave the chapter dedicated to it the title of Des questionnements vite étouffés : l’oeuvre oubliée de Jan Czekanowski. [46]

However, the 21st century has brought a revival of interest in Czekanowski and his research in Poland and beyond. A conference and exhibition of Czekanowski’s photographs was organized at Warsaw University in 2000. [47] Its catalogue, supplemented by publications by German scholars, was published in Leipzig. [48] The Institute of African Studies at the University of Leipzig and the Museum fur Völkerkunde organized an international conference in 2002 dedicated to Czekanowski. [49] Interest in Czekanowski’s work in France was sparked by the publication in French translation of the Polish printed version of the Diary in 2001. In 2004, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, along with the Polish Institute in Paris, organized a conference entitled La construction d’un regard. Pologne. Europe. Afrique, in conjunction with the exhibition of the African work of outstanding Polish photographers : Jan Czekanowski, Casimir Zagourski, Witold Grzesiewicz, Ryszard Kapuściński, and Chris Ledochowski (Autres lieux, autres regards. Pologne-Afrique). In Poland, Jan Czekanowski’s output in African studies has been dealt with since the 1990s by Joanna Bar. [50] In 2020, Klaus Bachman and his Polish collaborators published a book about daily life in early colonial Rwanda, making extensive use of Czekanowski’s work. [51]

A new type of interest in Czekanowski and his work on Africa has emerged in the 21st century. Its authors are not concerned with Africa and its past, but with colonial ideology and its impact on African studies of the 19th and 20th centuries. Also subject to re-appraisal is the concept of race in anthropological research and its 19th- and 20th-century worldview and political circumstances. [52]


Jan Czekanowski’s life spanned two distinct periods in European history. His studies, his first publications in anthropology, and his development of the diagraphic method and field research in Central Africa fell between 1902 and 1913. This coincided with the end of the so-called “long 19th century” – a time of industrialization, colonial expansion and, in science, the development of anthropology and ethnology. It was then that Czekanowski’s views and methods of research were shaped. They had to do especially with the application of mathematical and statistical methods in anthropology and the study of human races.

The following period, the so-called “short 20th century”, was a time of growing economic crisis following World War I, rising authoritarian and fascist systems, and World War II. This conflict was followed by the Cold War period, a time that also saw the collapse of colonialism, the development of culture and the flourishing of scientific research, including genetics and the discovery of human DNA. These transformations had a great impact on Jan Czekanowski’s life and his scientific research.

The peak of Czekanowski’s scientific success took place during the interwar period. At that time, the results of Czekanowski’s research were published in numerous European countries and were widely disseminated and accepted in Europe and the United States, as was his diagraphic method in anthropological research. During this time, Czekanowski became an honorary member of the Polish Anthropological Society, the Zurich and Brno Anthropological Societies, a corresponding member of the Paris Anthropological Society and the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, and a member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences. In Lwów, he established his own school of physical anthropology. He was active in three fields of research – anthropology, Slavic studies and the study of Central African cultures.

Czekanowski’s life after World War II was a time of rebuilding, a time when he took stock of his achievements and, above all, confronted his research achievements with new discoveries and with worldview changes that had taken place in world of science. During this time, Czekanowski did not change his view about the existence of human races, but he strongly opposed valuing these races and rejected any eugenic practices. His students went on to develop anthropological population studies. Czekanowski continued to support the thesis placing the Slavs’ origins in the middle reaches of the Vistula and Warta river basins. In this domain, his theses continue to have both supporters and opponents. Interest in his African research began to wane in the 1960s, but revived at the turn of the 20th to the 21st century. On the one hand, his achievements in the study and in perpetuating the values of the pre-colonial interlacustrine cultures in Africa are highly valued. On the other, his research and his views are assessed and criticized from the viewpoint of post-colonial studies. Czekanowski’s work is a current and important subject of scientific and worldview discussions.


Selected works by Jan Czekanowski

 Dziennik kolumny antropologiczno-etnologicznej ekspedycji do Afryki środkowej w latach 1907-1909 (Diary of the Anthropological-Ethnological Caravan of the Expedition to Central Africa in 1907–1909) – manuscript from the family collection of Prof. Anna Czekanowska-Kuklinska, deposited at the Cabinet of manuscripts, University Library in Warsaw).

 1904, Zur Höhenmessung des Schädels, Archiv für Anthropologie, n. s., Vol.1, pp. 254–258.

 1906, “Zur frage der Korrelationen der Muskelvarietäten”, in : Boas Anniversary Volume : Anthropological Papers written in Honour of Franz Boas, ed. by Berthold Laufer, New York, Strecht 1906, pp. 43–54.

 1907, “Untersuchung über das Verkältnis der Kopfmasse zu den Schädelmassen”, Archiv für Anthropologie, 1907, n.s., Vol. 6, pp. 42–89.

 1909, “Zur differentialdiagnose der Neandertalgruppe”, Korespondenzblatt der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, J. 41, pp. 44–47.

 1911, “Obiektive Kriterien in der Ethnologie”, Korespondenzblatt der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, J. 43, pp. 71–75.

 1911-1927, Forschungen im Nil-Kongo-Zwischengebiet :

  • - Vol. I, Ethnographie. Zwischenseengebiet. Mpororo-Ruanda. Mit 4 Tafeln und einem musikalischen Anhang von E. M. von Hornbostel, Leipzig 1917, Klinkhardt & Biermann ;
  • - Vol. II, Ethnographie. Uele / Ituri / Nil-Lander, Leipzig 1924, Klinkhardt & Biermann ;
  • - Vol. III, Ethnographisch-anthropologischer Atlas. Zwischenseen – Bantu / Pygmaen und Pygmoiden / Urwaldstamme. Mit 139 Tafeln in Lichtdruck, Leipzig 1911, Klinkhardt & Biermann ;
  • - Vol. IV, Anthropologische Beobachtungen im Nil-Kongo – Zwischengebiet, Leipzig 1922, Klinkhardt & Biermann ;
  • - Vol. V, Ethnographisch-anthropologischer Atlas. Azande / Uele-Stamme / Niloten. Mit 167 Tafeln in Lichtdruck, Leipzig 1927, Klinkhardt & Biermann.

 1913, Zarys metod statystycznych w zastosowaniu do antropologii, Warsaw, Towarzystwo Naukowe Warszawskie.

 1921, Les lois de Mendel et Galton et des coéfficients de hérédité de Pearson, Revue générale des Sciences, 32, 671–675.

 1927, Wstęp do historii Słowian. Perspektywy antropologiczne, etnograficzne, prehistoryczne i językoznawcze, Lwów, Lwowska Biblioteka Slawistyczna (2d ed. 1957, Poznań, Instytut Zachodni).

 1930, Zarys antropologii Polski, Lwów, Lwowska Biblioteka Slawistyczna.

 1948, Zagadnienia antropologii. Zarys antropologii teoretycznej, Toruń. Księgarnia Naukowa T. Szczęsny.

 1951, “Badania antropologiczne w międzyrzeczu Nilu i Kongo. Część I – Crania Africana”, Przegląd Antropologiczny, Vol. 17, pp. 34–188.

 1958, W głąb lasów Aruwimi. Dziennik wyprawy do Afryki Środkowej, Wrocław, Polskie Towarzystwo Ludoznawcze.

 1961, “Feudalne państwa pasterskie afrykańskiego Międzyjezierza”, Przegląd Socjologiczny, Vol. 15, pp. 41–60.

 1962, “The Theoretical Assumptions of Polish Anthropology and the Morphological Facts”, Current Anthropology, Vol. 3, no. 3, December, pp. 481–494.

 1967, Człowiek w czasie i przestrzeni, 3rd ed., Warsaw, PWN, (1st ed. – 1934, 2d ed. – 1937).

 2001, Carnets de Route au coeur de l’Afrique, translated from Polish and annotated by Lidia Meschy, with a preface by Georges Balandier, Montricher, Éditions Noir sur Blanc.

 2014, Dziennik podróży afrykańskiej, Joanna Bar, ed., Warsaw, Polskie Towarzystwo Afrykanistyczne.

Chosen works about Czekanowski or making use of his researches

Bar, Joanna, 2007, Afrykanistyczne badania Jana Czekanowskiego. W stulecie wyprawy, Cracow, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Akademii Pedagogicznej.

Bar, Joanna, 2017, “Badania Jana Czekanowskiego w międzyrzeczu Nilu i Konga oraz ich znaczenie dla historycznej i narodowej identyfikacji państw regionu (casus Rwandy)”, in : Laboratorium Kultury, 6, 2017, special issue – Jan Czekanowski, Katowice 2017, pp. 17–40.

Bar, Joanna, Czekanowska, Anna 2002, “Jan Czekanowski”, in : Etnografowie i ludoznawcy polscy. Sylwetki, szkice biograficzne, Vol. 1, E. Fryś-Pietraszkowa, A. Kowalska-Lewicka, A. Spiss, eds., Cracow, Wydawnictwo Naukowe DWN, Cracow.

Baumann Herman ; Westermann Diedrich ; Thurnwald Richard, 1940, Völkerkunde von Afrika. Mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der kolonialen Aufgabe, Essen, Essener Verlagsanstalt.

Baumann Hermann ; Westermann Diedrich, 1967, Les peuples et les civilisations de l’Afrique suivi de Les langues et l’éducation, préface de Théodore Monod, Paris, Payot.

Bielicki, Tadeusz, 1962, “Some Possibilities for Estimating Inter-Population Relationship on the Basis of Continuous Traits”, Current Anthropology, Vol. 3, No 1, February, pp. 3–8.

Chrétien, Jean-Pierre, 2010, L’Invention de l’Afrique des Grands Lacs. Une histoire du XXe siècle, Paris, Karthala.

Dzierżykray-Rogalski, Tadeusz, 1981, Polska antropologia w Afryce, Wrocław, Ossolineum.

Everyday Life 2020 - Everyday Life in Early Colonial Rwanda. Insights from German and Polish Sources, by Klaus Bachmann and his Polish and German collaborators : Karolina Marcinkowskia, Joanna Bar, and Marius Kawalak, Wiesbaden, Harrasowitz Verlag.

Evans-Pritchard, Edward E., 1965, Position of Women in Primitive Societies and Other Essays in Social Anthropology, London, Faber and Faber.

Evans-Pritchard, Edward E., 1971, The Azande. History and Political Institutions, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Gajek Józef, 1955, “Jan Czekanowski jako etnograf”, Przegląd Antropologiczny, Vol. 21, 1955, issue 3, pp. 1010–1030.

Gajek, Józef, 1958, “Jan Czekanowski”, Nauka Polska, 1958, Rok 6, Numer 2 (22), 127, pp. 118–127.

Górny, Maciej, 2022, Historia głupich idei albo duch narodu w świątyni nauki, Warsaw, Wydawnictwo Filtry.

Hertefelt, Marcel d’, 1962, “Le Rwanda”, in : Les anciens royaumes de la zone interlacustre méridionale : Rwanda, Burundi, Bucha, par M. Hertefelt, A. A. Trouwborst, J. H. Scherrer, Avec introduction générale par Jan Vansina, Tervuren, Musée Royal de l’Afrique centrale, pp. 9–112.

Hertefelt, Marcel d’, 1971, Les clans du Rwanda ancien. Éléments d’ethnosociologie et d’ethnohistoire, Tervuren, Musée royal d’Afrique centrale.

Issues in the Study of Race, 1962, “Issues in the Study of Race : Two Views from Poland, with Discussion”, Current Anthropology, Vol. 3, No 1, February, pp. 2–46, see Bielicki, Wierciński.

Hirt, Hermann, 1905, 1907, Die Indogermanen, vol. I-II, Strasburg, J.K. Trübner.

Jones, Adam 2002, Jan Czekanowski : Africanist ethnographer and physical anthropologist in Early Twentieth-Century Germany and Poland, Leipzig, University of Leipzig, Institut für Afrikanistik.

Kaszycka, Katarzyna ; Strzałko, Jan, 2003, “Race – Still an Issue for Physical Anthropology ? Results of Polish Studies Seen in the Light of the U.S. Findings”, American Anthropologist, 105 (1), pp. 116–124.

Kaszycka, Katarzyna ; Štrkalj, Goran ; Strzałko, Jan, 2009, “Current Views of European Anthropologists on Race : Influence of Educational and Ideological Background”, American Anthropologist, 111 (1), pp. 43–56.

Klimek, Stanisław, 1935, Culture element distributions (Part 1), The Structure of California Indian Culture (pref. A.L. Kroeber), Berkeley, University of California Press.

Klimek, Stanisław (and E. W. Gifford), 1936, Culture element distributions (Part 2), Yana, Berleley, University of California Press).

Krzyśko, Mirosław, 2012, “Jan Czekanowski (1882-1965)”, Statistics in Transition, new series, March, vol.13, N0 1, pp.161–168.

Księga Pamiątkowa dla uczczenia 60 lat pracy naukowej Jana Czekanowskiego, 1964, Adam Wanke, ed., Wrocław, PWN.

Łapott, Jacek ; Buchalik, Lucjan, 2012, “Afrykanie-Afrykaniście, czyli jak powstawał pomnik profesora Jana Czekanowskiego”, Afryka, – Polskie Towarzystwo Afrykanistyczne, nr 36, pp. 117–126.

Malinowski, Andrzej, 1985, “Życie i działalność naukowa profesora doktora Jana Czekanowskiego“, in : Teoria i empiria w polskiej szkole antropologicznej. W stulecie urodzin Jana Czekanowskiego, Janusz Piontek, Andrzej Malinowski, eds., Poznań, Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza, pp. 71–77.

Maquet, Jean J., 1954, Le Système des Relations sociales dans le Ruanda ancien, Tervuren, Musée Royal du Congo Belge.

Meschy, Lidia. 1994. « Jan Czekanowski et l’expédition “Mecklembourg”. Afrique centrale 1907-1909", Revue française d’histoire d’outre-mer, t. 81, n°305, pp. 477-491.

Murdock, George Peter, 1959, Africa : Its Peoples and Their Culture History, New York, McGraw Hill.

Piontek, Janusz ; Iwanek, Beata ; Segeda, Sergey, 2008, Antropologia o pochodzeniu Słowian, Poznań, Monografie Instytutu Antropologii Uniwersytetu Adama Mickiewicza, 12.

Posern-Zieliński, Aleksander, 1973, “Kształtowanie się etnografii polskiej jako samodzielnej dyscypliny naukowej (do 1939 r.)”, in : Historia etnografii polskiej, pod redakcją Małgorzaty Terleckiej, Wrocław 1973, Ossolineum, pp. 29–113.

Romer, Eugeniusz, 1921, Geograficzno-statystyczny atlas Polski, wydanie II (2d edition), Lwów-Warsaw, Książnica Polska Towarzystwa Nauczycieli Szkół Wyższych.

Seligman, Charles Gabriel, and Brenda Z. Seligman.1932, Pagan Tribes of the Nilotic Sudan, London, Routledge and Sons.

Sokolewicz, Zofia, 1973 a, “Szkoły i kierunki w etnografii polskiej (do 1939 r.)”, in : Historia etnografii polskiej, pod redakcją Małgorzaty Terleckiej, Wrocław 1973, Ossolineum, pp. 115–167.

Sokolewicz, Zofia, 1973 b, “Miejsce etnografii polskiej w nauce obcej”, in : Historia etnografii polskiej, pod redakcją Małgorzaty Terleckiej, Wrocław 1973, Ossolineum, pp. 169–191.

Szafer, Władysław, 1919, Ze studiów nad zasięgami geograficznymi roślin w Polsce, Rozprawy Akademii Umiejętności, Wydział II, seria B, tom LVIII.

Śladami ekspedycji Jana Czekanowskiego do Afryki Środkowej 1907–1909. Katalog wystawy, 2000, Warsaw, Uniwersity of Warsaw and Jan J. Swianiewicz.

Teoria i empiria w polskiej szkole antropologicznej. W stulecie urodzin Jana Czekanowskiego, 1985, Janusz Piontek, Andrzej Malinowski, eds., Poznań, Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza.

Ureña Valerio, Lenny A., 2019, Colonial Fantasies, Imperial Realities : Races, Science and Making of Polishness on the Fringes of the German Empire, 1840-1920, Athens OH, Ohio University Press.

Vansina, Jan, 1962, L’évolution du royaume Rwanda des origines à 1900, Bruxelles, Académie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-Mer.

Wanke, Adam, 1964, “Sześćdziesiąt lat pracy naukowej Jana Czekanowskiego”, in : Księga Pamiątkowa dla uczczenia 60 lat pracy naukowej Jana Czekanowskiego, Adam Wanke, ed., Wrocław, PWN, pp. 8–27.

Wężowicz-Ziółkowska, Dobrosława, 2017, „Jan Czekanowski w czasie i przestrzeni, in : Laboratorium Kultury 6, 2017, numer specjalny - Jan Czekanowski, Katowice 2017, pp. 69–93.

Wężowicz-Ziółkowska, Dobrosława, 2018, “Koncepcja Rrasy we Lwowskiej szkole typologicznej”, Przegląd Humanistyczny, No. 3, pp. 23–35.

Wierciński. Andrzej, 1962, “The Racial Analysis of Human Populations in Relation to Their Ethnogenesis“, Current Anthropology, Vol. 3, No. 1, February, pp. 2, 9–46.

Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Deutschen Zentral-Afrika-Expedition 1907-1908. Unter Fuhrung Adolf Friedrichs, Herzogs zu Mecklenburg, Band I – VIII, Leipzig 1910–1927, Klinkhardt & Biermann.

Zwischen Nil und Kongo. Auf den Spuren von Jan Czekanowski, 2001, Leipzig, Museum für Völkerkunde zu Leipzig.

[1Czekanowski 1904.

[2Czekanowski 1906.

[3Czekanowski 1907.

[4French translation in Czekanowski 2001, p. 174.

[5French translation in Czekanowski 2001, pp. 294, 296-297, 314.

[6Czekanowski 1909.

[7Czekanowski 1911.

[8Posern-Zieliński 1973, pp. 104-105.

[9Łapott, Buchalik, 2012.

[10Wissenschaftliche…1910-1927, vol. 1-8.

[11Czekanowski 1911-1927, vol. 1-5. See also Dzierżykray-Rogalski 1981 ; Meschy 1994 ; Bar 2007 ; Bar 2017.

[12The term “Murashi” is the singular form of the term “Barashi”.

[13See footnote no. 23.

[14Czekanowski 2014.

[15Czekanowski 1958.

[16Czekanowski 2001.

[17Czekanowski 1958, p. 16 ; Czekanowski 2001, p. 10 – 11.

[18Czekanowski 1913.

[19Czekanowski 1921.

[20Czekanowski 1967, p. 20.

[21Czekanowski 1967, p. 15 ; Wężowicz-Ziółkowska 2017, p. 77 et seq.

[22Gajek 1955 ; 1958 ; Sokolewicz 1973a, pp. 156–157 ; 1973b, pp. 179–185 ; Wężowicz-Ziółkowska 2017.

[23Gajek 1955, pp. 1022-1026 ; Wanke 1964, pp. 8-13 ; Krzyśko 2012.

[24Czekanowski 1927 (II ed. 1957) ; Czekanowski 1930.

[25Czekanowski 1948.

[26Czekanowski 1967 (1st ed. 1934, 2d ed. 1937).

[27Czekanowski 1951.

[28Czekanowski 1961.

[29Posern-Zieliński 1973, pp. 93–95.

[30Klimek 1935 ; 1936 ; Sokolewicz 1973a, p. 157.

[31Malinowski 1985, pp. 75–76.

[32Dzierżykraj-Rogalski 1981 pp. 63–79.

[33Czekanowski 1948, p. 10 ; Wężowicz-Ziółkowska 2017, p. 75.

[34Czekanowski 1947, p. 25. See also Wężowicz-Ziółkowska 2018.

[35Czekanowski 1948, p. 10.

[36Bielicki 1962 ; Wiercińsaki 1962 ; Czekanowski 1962.

[37Wężowicz-Ziółkowska 2018.

[38Kaszycka, Strzałko 2003 ; Kaszycka, Štrkalj, Strzałko 2009.

[39Piontek, Iwanek, Segeda 2008.

[40Baumann, Westermann 1940 ; French ed. 1967.

[41Seligman 1932 (1965).

[42Evans-Pritchard 1965 ; idem. 1971,

[43Maquet 1954, Murdock 1959 ; Vansina 1962 ; d’Hertefelt 1962 ; 1971

[44Księga pamiątkowa 1963 ; Wanke 1963 ; Dzierżykray-Rogalski 1963, idem. 1981.

[45Czekanowski, 1958 ; Czekanowski 1961.

[46Chrétien 2010, pp. 129–145. See also the earlier comments by Meschy 1994.

[47Śladami ekspedycji, 2000.

[48Zwischen Nil und Kongo, 2001.

[49Jones ed., 2002.

[50Bar, Czekanowska 2002 ; Bar 2007 ; 2017.

[51Everyday life..., 2020

[52Ureña Valerio 2019 ; Górny 2022.