Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/71

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61
ANTHROPOLOGICAL WORK IN EUROPE.

is Prof. Friedrich. Ratzel, best known to ns for his Volkerkünde  — an introduction to ethnography. Dr. Ratzel is now revising this work, and he has lately issued a yet more valuable treatise  — Anthropogeographie. Ethnography is most interesting to him in its geography, and he at present lays especial stress upon the local distribution of customs and arts. Prof. Ratzel is a favorite teacher, and has sent out many young men imbued with his methods. Among these, one of the most promising is Dr. Heinrich Schurtz, privat-docent at the university, whose recent Philosophie der Tracht is an application of Ratzel's methods to the study of dress.

Drs. Meyer, Lueders, and Buchner are doing fine work with the museums at Dresden, Hamburg, and Munich, and deserve more than a brief reference. But the ethnographic work of Germany

PSM V41 D071 Eduard Seler.jpg
Dr. Eduard Seler.

and of the world culminates in Berlin. Adolph Bastian is the director of the museum, the leader of the corps of able workers who carry it on. He is a man whom years do not make old; one who has unquenchable fire and enthusiasm. He is decidedly the right man in the right place. The Government has been liberal to him, but he continually needs new funds for more and greater enterprises. No one recognizes more clearly than he the importance of doing ethnographical work now; to-morrow will be too late. Old tribes are dying out; new customs are being introduced; native cultures

are being swept away, or rapidly modified by contact with the civilization of the white man. Illustrations of such cultures must be saved now or never. "It is a burning house, and the main purpose is to gather material for the future to use. And contents are lost while we wait." So his prodigious accumulations are here — for example, Dr. Grunwedel, who has direction of the India collections, has upward of twenty-four thousand objects in his charge. Prof. Bastian is a great traveler and a busy writer. Scarcely a year passes without an important work from his pen.