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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'You have everything confused and mixed up!': Georg Schweinfurth, knowledge and cartography of Africa in the 19th century
Author:Fritsch, Kathrin
Periodical:History in Africa (ISSN 1558-2744)
Geographic terms:Egypt
culture contact
indigenous knowledge
About person:Georg August Schweinfurth (1836-1925)ISNI
Abstract:Between 1865 and 1877, a total of six maps of Egypt, Nubia and the Upper-Nile countries, produced by the botanist Georg Schweinfurth, appeared in 'Petermanns Geografische Mitteilungen', the leading German geographical journal of the 19th century. From the example of the correspondence between Schweinfurth and August Petermann, this paper demonstrates the importance of 'indigenous' knowledge in the compilation of these maps, which should be seen as the product of a dialogue between Africans and Europeans. In spite of the importance of this cooperation, travelers, including Schweinfurth, attempted to maintain a sense of their own superiority in accordance with Western views: African knowledge was never explicitly recognized and misunderstandings due to different concepts of space or a lack of linguistic competence were always explained by the allegedly inadequate geographical understanding of the Africans. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]