International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

The German ethnographer Curt Unckel (1883-1945) emigrated to Brazil in 1903 and settled among the Apapocuva-Guarani between 1905 and 1907 in a village on the Batalha River in the state of São Paulo. They nicknamed him Nimuendajú which he registered as a family name in 1926 when choosing Brazilian nationality. In 1913, he moved to Belém, his place of permanent residence until his death in 1945, in a Ticuna village in the municipality of São Paulo de Olivença, in the Upper Solimões region. Nimuendajú devoted more than four decades to Amerindian ethnology, assuring worldwide recognition, within his lifetime. He is acclaimed as one of the greatest authorities — if not the greatest, according to some authors — on the ethnology of indigenous peoples in Brazil in the first half of the 20th century.

Keywords: Ethnography | First half of the 20th century | Germany | Brazil | Amerindian studies | Guarani

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