International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

Josselin de Jong, Jan Petrus Benjamin de (1886-1964)

Coordinated by Thomas Beaufils

IRHIS (UMR 8529), Université de Lille

Dutch anthropologist and linguist Jan Petrus Benjamin de Josselin de Jong made his first field trip to North America in the summer of 1910 to the Blackfeet and Piegan Indians of Montana and then, in 1911, to the Odžibwe (Ojibwa/Chippewa) of Minnesota. Curator at the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde (National Museum of Ethnology) in Leiden, he carried out research in the Caribbean in 1922 in collaboration with the Danish archaeologist and ethnologist Gudmund Hatt. In the same year, he became the first Dutch chair of general ethnology at Leiden University. After a field trip to the Dutch Indies from 1932 to 1934, De Josselin de Jong was offered the Chair of Ethnology of the Dutch Indies in 1935 and published his inaugural speech De Maleische Archipel als ethnologisch studieveld (The Malay Archipelago, a field of ethnological study) in the same year, laying the foundations for the structuralism of the Leiden School. A major figure in 20th century Dutch anthropology, De Josselin de Jong occupies a place in the history of the discipline that goes far beyond the context of his own country through the influence of his ethnographic and theoretical writings and intellectual dialogues on the international scene.

Keywords: Social and cultural anthropology | Structuralism | Leiden School | 20th century | The Netherlands | Caribbean | United States of America | Algonquin languages | Southeast Asia | Indonesia/Dutch India | Amerindian studies | Mesoamerican studies | Asian studies | Family and kinship | Kinship anthropology | Marriage | Circular connubium

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