International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

Giannecchini, Doroteo (1837–1900)

Coordinated by Isabelle Combès

Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos (UMIFRE 17 MAEDI / CNRS USR 3337 - América Latina); Centro de Investigaciones Históricas y Antropológicas (CIHA) del museo de historia de la Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Born in Tuscany, Massimino Candido Regolo Giannecchini (1837–1900) was a Franciscan missionary, ordained in 1854 under the name Doroteo. In January 1860 he went to Tarija, in the south of Bolivia, and was ordained a priest in September. For thirty years, he was a missionary on the Chaqueña border among the Chiriguano, Tobas and “noctenes” of the Bolivian Chaco. His rich historical, ethnographic and linguistic notes, and his sharp reflections on social life, the status of women and political organisation, among other subjects, place Giannecchini in the pantheon of the great missionary ethnographers, despite the inevitable biases linked to his evangelising activities. He did not manage to publish his linguistic and ethnographic works during his lifetime. However, they were exploited and used by many later authors who did not always acknowledge their debt to them. The publication in 1996 of his Historia natural, etnografía, geografía, lingüística del Chaco boliviano corrected this injustice

Keywords: Amateur ethnographer | Missionary | 19th century | Chaco | Amerindian studies | Chiriguano | Toba people

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