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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Through the Eyes of the Beholder: H.A Junod and the Notion of Primitive
Author:Harries, PatrickISNI
Periodical:Social Dynamics
Geographic term:Africa
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Anthropology and Archaeology
About person:Henri Alexandre Junod (1863-1934)ISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02533959308458539
Abstract:This essay examines the way in which the anthropologist Henri-Alexandre Junod constructed a modern vision of Africa at the end of the nineteenth century. Henri Junod, who arrived in Lourenšo Marques in 1889, was an amateur anthropologist, 'a man on the spot', and a missionary. Junod's lasting achievement was to replace the Gothic imagery of darkness and irrationality, through which Victorian writers portrayed Africa, with a scientific, universal system of signification. By absorbing Africa into a field of vision dominated by European norms and conventions, Junod tamed the continent's otherness. This led him to interpret African sculpture and carving as representing a primitive stage in a universal artistic tradition dominated by Europe. Junod's evolutionist approach, considered modern at the turn of the century, was to be criticized by the new generation of functionalist anthropologists in the 1920s-1930s. After the Second World War, Junod's work was to suffer an almost total eclipse as evolutionism was tarred with the brush of racism. Bibliogr., note, ref., sum.