1. bookVolume 20 (2020): Issue 2 (December 2020)
Journal Details
First Published
15 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
access type Open Access

Alone in the Country of the Catholics: Labrador Inuit in Prague (1880)

Published Online: 05 Oct 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 20 (2020) - Issue 2 (December 2020)
Page range: 20 - 45
Journal Details
First Published
15 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year

The ethnographic shows of the end of the 19th century responded to an increased hunger for the exotic, especially among the bourgeois classes in Europe and North America, and to the establishment of both physical and cultural anthropology as scientific disciplines with a need for study material. At the same time they served as a manifestation of European superiority in the time of the last phase of colonialist thrust to other continents. “Scientific colonialism” reached also to regions without actual colonial or imperial ambitions, as the story of Labrador Inuit who visited Prague during their tour of Europe in November 1880 will prove. The reactions of local intellectuals and the general public to the performances of the “savages” will be examined in the context of the Czech and German nationalist competition and the atmosphere of colonial complicity. Thanks to the testimony of a member of the group, Abraham Ulrikab, supplemented by newspaper articles and other sources, it is possible to explore the miscommunication arising from the fact that the Inuit were members of the Moravian Church, professing allegiance to old Protestant tradition in the Czech Lands and cultivating a fragmented knowledge of Czech history and culture.


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