Among Herders of Inner Mongolia
616 pages
English

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616 pages
English
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Description

This is a study of a unique collection of Inner Mongolian artifacts at the National Museum of Denmark. They are described, analyzed and presented in a catalogue of more than 800 items, documenting the daily life of pastoral society in and around the tent, in the herding of the animals, in caravan trade and in hunting, crafts, sports and games, and in ritual life. Information about the objects was obtained during two expeditions to Inner Mongolia in the 1930s led by the Danish author Henning Haslund-Christensen, who had many years' experience of travel and expedition life in Mongolia. This is also a detailed account of the expeditions; of the routes, means and measures, as well as the worries and hopes of the participants; of their struggles with scientific aspirations; and of the conditions for collecting against the backdrop of the Chinese civil war and the Japanese occupation. The First and Second Danish Expeditions to Central Asia took place in 1936-1937 and 1938-1939 respectively. These expeditions were the sole foreign parties with access to the area at the time, and therefore their members were among the few observers of Inner Mongolian pastoral society at a time and place for which information was, and still is, scant and fragmented. Hence, the material objects and data obtained are of great scientific importance in the documentation of the life and material culture of Inner Mongolian herders in the 1930s - the main subject of the present book.
Chapter 1: Henning Haslund-Christensen: Explorer, Collector and Writer Chapter 2: Scandinavian Explorers in Mongolia Chapter 3: The First and Second Danish Central Asien Expeditions Chapter 4: Collections Chapter 5: Camps and Dwellings Chapter 6: Food and Drink Chapter 7: The Five Domesticated Animals Chapter 8: Domestic Crafts Chapter 9: Hunting Chapter 10: The Three Manly Sports Chapter 11: Games and Toys Chapter 12: Healing, Medicine and Lama Doctors Chapter 13: Personal Possessions Chapter 14: Caravan Accountants - Equipment and Official's Seals

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Publié par
Date de parution 20 octobre 2017
Nombre de lectures 2
EAN13 9788771844979
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 45 Mo

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Exrait

the carlsberg
among herders
foundation’s
of inner
nomad research
projekt
mongolia
the carlsberg fondation’s nomad research projectChristel Braae, anthropologist, PhD christel christel braae Editor-in-Chief Ida Nicolaisen, NIAS, University of Copenhagen braae
Christel Braae conducted fieldwork
in Tunisia in 1976-1977 and in 1989- among herders of inner mongolia
1990 in the Arab Gulf Countries of
Christel Braae
Bahrain, Kuwait, The United Arab among herders of
Emirates and Oman. During this
This is a study of a unique collection of Inner Mongolian artefacts
time she collected objects for the
at the National Museum of Denmark. They are described, ana -
Moes gaard Museum in Denmark.
lysed and visually presented in a catalogue of more than 800inner mongoliaPrior to this she worked for three
items, documenting the daily life of pastoral society in and
years in Bahrain as a consultant to the National Museum, which
around the tent, in the herding of the animals, in caravan trade
opened in 1989. She has published in the fields of Middle Eastern
and in hunting, crafts, sports and games, and in ritual life. The
studies and on museums and heri tage, and between 1998 and Te Haslund-Christensen Collection objects were collected during two expeditions to Inner Mongolia
2006 she was editor of FOLK. Journal of the Danish Ethnographic Society.
in the 1930s led by the Danish author Henning
Haslund-ChrisIn 2009-2010 she curated the exhibition Sharjah – Contemporary Arts
tensen, who had many years’ experience of travel and expeditionat the National Museum of Denmark
from the Emirates at the Danish National Museum. Since 1997 she
life in Mongolia.
has has worked here in the Ethnographic Department,
specializThe book is also a detailed account of the expeditions includinging in collections from the Middle East and from Central and
their routes, means and measures, as well as the worries andInner Asia.
hopes of the participants, their struggles with scientific
aspirations, and the conditions for collecting against the backdrop of
Also in the series: the Chinese civil war and the Japanese occupation. The First and
Second Danish Expeditions to Central Asia took place in 1936-1937mongol costumes
and 1938-1939 respectively. These expeditions were the sole
forHenny Harald Hansen
eign parties with access to the area at the time, and therefore
With 240 illustrations, 57 in colour
their members were among the few observers of Inner
Mongomongol jewelry lian pastoral society at a time when information was scant and
Martha Boyer knowledge of the place fragmented – as is in many ways still the
With 200 illustrations, 90 in colour case. Hence, the material objects and data obtained are of great
scientific importance in the documentation of the life and ma-tibetan nomads
terial culture of Inner Mongolian herders in the 1930s.
Schuyler Jones
With 280 illustrations, 100 in colour
With 748 illustrations, 277 in colour.
Aarhus University Press
Cover: Chess pieces from Cat. no. 565. Photo by Roberto Fortuna.
Photo: Roberto FortunaChristel Braae
To Søren Haslund-Christensen Among Herders
of Inner Mongolia
Te Haslund-Christensen Collection
at the National Museum of Denmark
Te Carlsberg Foundation’s Nomad Research Projekt
Aarhus University Pressamong herders of inner mongolia
The Carlsberg Foundation, Aarhus University Press and the author 2017
Design and typesetting: Mette and Eric Mourier
Photos of objects: Roberto Fortuna
Copy editor: Bente Gundestrup
Language revisers: James Manley, James Bulman-May, Mia Gaudern
Type Face: Fedra Serif and Sans
E-book production: Narayana Press, Gylling
ISBN: 978 87 7184 4979
aarhus university press
Finlandsgade 29
DK – 8200 Aarhus
White Cross Mills
Lancaster LA1 4XS
England
Box 511
Oakville, CT 06779
USA
www.unipress.dk
the carlsberg foundation’s nomad research projekt
Editor-in-Chief: Ida Nicolaisen
The publikation of this volume has been made possible
by a generous grant from The Carlsberg Foundation101773_mongolia_001-027_r2_q16.qxp_Layout 1 29/08/17 09:30 Page 5
5
among herders of inner mongolia Contents The Carlsberg Foundation, Aarhus University Press and the author 2017
Design and typesetting: Mette and Eric Mourier
Photos of objects: Roberto Fortuna
11 editor’s preface 98 A Himalayan interlude:
Copy editor: Bente Gundestrup
Trade routes or British intelligence?
Language revisers: James Manley, James Bulman-May, Mia Gaudern 21 foreword
100 Between passes
26 acknowledgementsType Face: Fedra Serif and Sans
104 notesPaper: Luxosatin 135 g
Printed in Denmark: Narayana Press, Gylling
28 chapter 1
ISBN: 978 87 7934 395 5 106 chapter 3Henning Haslund-Christensen:
Explorer, Collector and Writer Še First and Second Danish
aarhus university press
Central Asien Expeditions
Finlandsgade 29
32 The legacy of the “grand expeditions”: Haslund as
DK – 8200 Aarhus 109 Recovery and future plans
traveller and collector
113 A reconnaissance expedition to Mongolia: DECA IWhite Cross Mills 38 Collector and writer
Lancaster LA1 4XS 115 Searching for a work field
45 notes
England
120 The old troubadours of Wang-yeh Sume
Box 511
123 Collecting in Manchu Ail
46 chapter 2Oakville, CT 06779
125 Looking for shamans in Hailar USA Scandinavian Explorers in Mongolia
130 Out of Manchukuo
www.unipress.dk
48 Accounts from the frontier
131 On the trail of old routes
56 Mongolia 1911-1924
133 Arrival of ethnographic objects
the carlsberg foundation’s nomad research projekt 59 A settlement in no-man’s-land
in Copenhagen
Editor-in-Chief: Ida Nicolaisen
64 Life on the farm
134 Preparations for a scientific expedition
68 An activist diplomat
The publikation of this volume has been made possible 137 On the way
by a generous grant from The Carlsberg Foundation 71 Kalgan – the gateway
140 Waiting in Khukho Khoto
72 The Scandinavian network
147 Mongolia at last
74 The missionaries
151 Expedition life at Camp Chagan Khure
76 Caravans and comradeship: – the white temple
Exploring with Hedin
152 Sub-expeditions and thwarted expectations
79 Hedin – pathfinder and cartographer
156 On the trail of a dead shaman
82 The Sino-Swedish expedition
160 Separate ways
89 From caravan man to research assistant
163 Wrapping up in a war zone
95 Splitting up with Hedin
167 notes101773_mongolia_001-027_r2_q16.qxp_Layout 1 29/08/17 09:30 Page 6
6 contents
239 Order and etiquette170 chapter 4
241 Furniture and other ger contents Collections
241 Floor mats and rugs
173 Haslund inside the museum
242 Decorated felts
176 Registration of the objects
243 Stitched or quilted felts
178 The Picture Register
245 floor mats
178 The Ethnos Register
Catalogue nos. 17-27
180 The Paris Collection
249 sitting mats
181 Mongolian collection exhibited Catalogue nos. 28-35
184 The Mongolian Collection 253 thrones and throne covers
– an antiquarian’s view
Catalogue nos. 36-45
186 The Catalogue – an introduction 258 bolsters
CCatalogue nos. 46-50190 notes
260 wooden furniture191 Catalogue information
Catalogue nos. 51-89
262 Tables
192 chapter 5
265 Chests and cupboards
Camps and Dwellings
270 Folding chair
197 Migration and territorial organization 271 Pegs and racks
200 Seasonal movements 271 cradles and swaddling clothes
Catalogue nos. 90-94204 Camps and campsites
275 locks and keys205 Order and authority
Catalogue nos. 95-117
206 The encampment, the hot ail
280 notes
207 The pastoral household
210 Tents and tent types
282 chapter 6212 The Mongolian felt-covered trellis tent, ger

Food and Drink214 The frame
217 The felts 284 Meat – the “red food”

217 The making of felt 287 Milk – “the white food”
219 Outside the ger 290 Tea
222 Recent improvements of the ger 291 Kitchenware
224 tents and tent parts 292 The fireplace
Catalogue nos. 1-16
295 hearths
235 Inside the ger
Catalogue nos. 118-136
235 The plan 299 cooking implements and kitchen

utensils235 The interior arrangement
Catalogue nos. 137-157












































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6 contents contents 7
239 Order and etiquette 303 spoons, ladles and scrapers170 chapter 4 356 chapter 7
Catalogue nos. 158-177
241 Furniture and other ger contents Collections The Five Domesticated Animals
308 containers
241 Floor mats and rugs
173 Haslund inside the museum 359 The animalsCatalogue nos. 178-221
242 Decorated felts
176 Registration of the objects 360 Horses309 Jars for liquid food – stone and earthenware
243 Stitched or quilted felts
178 The Picture Register 364 Camels310 Metal and wooden buckets and tubs for liquids: water,
245 floor mats
milk, airak, wine and tea178 The Ethnos Register 367 Cattle, sheep and goats
Catalogue nos. 17-27
314 Canteens for wine, airak and water180 The Paris Collection 372 The equipment
249 sitting mats
315 Containers of miscellaneous material and use181 Mongolian collection exhibited 372 Riding accoutrements and accessories for horsesCatalogue nos. 28-35
318 dried foodstuffs and cont ainers 184 The Mongolian Co llection 374 horses / riding saddles253 thrones and throne covers
Catalogue nos. 222-246– an antiquarian’s view Catalogue nos. 367-370Catalogue nos. 36-45
320 Containers for dried foodstuffs; various types186 The Catalogue – an introduction 377 saddle accessories 258 bolsters
C Catalogue nos. 371-380Catalogue nos. 46-50 321 Eating, drinking and serving food190 notes
380 bridles260 wooden furniture 321 tea and food bowls191 Catalogue information
Catalogue nos. 381-386Catalogue nos. 51-89 Catalogue nos. 247-306
381 cruppers262 Tables 323 Wooden bowls; plain types
192 chapter 5 Catalogue nos. 387-389
265 Chests and cupboards 327 Wooden bowls, lined and dec orated with silverwork
Camps and Dwellings 383 whips
270 Folding chair 333 Bowl containers
Catalogue nos. 390-394
197 Migration and territorial organization 271 Pegs and racks 335 Stoneware bowls for food
385 hobbles
200 Seasonal movements 271 cradles and swaddling clothes 335 Cups and bottles for chinese wine or arki Catalogue nos. 395-400
Catalogue nos. 90-94204 Camps and campsites 337 dishes 387 tending and herding
275 locks and keys Catalogue nos. 307-311205 Order and authority Catalogue no. 401
Catalogue nos. 95-117
339 chopsticks for domestic and 206 The encampment, the hot ail 389 miscellaneous objects for horses
280 notes caravan use Catalogue nos. 402-405207 The pastoral household
Catalogue nos. 312-318
391 veterin ary instruments for horses210 Tents and tent types
340 objects for making and serving tea Catalogue nos. 406-411
282 chapter 6212 The Mongolian fe lt-covered tr ellis tent, ger
Catalogue nos. 319-333
392 pole lasso
Food and Drink214 The frame 346 utensils used for the prod uction Catalogue no. 412
of cheese, curds and distilled, 217 The felts 284 Meat – the “red food” 393 camels /riding saddles
fermented mare’s milk (arki)
217 The making of felt Catalogue nos. 413-414287 Milk – “the white food”
Catalogue nos. 334-346
219 Outside the ger 395 transpor t equipment290 Tea
348 A note on the distillation of airak and other
Catalogue nos. 415-420222 Recent improvements of the ger 291 Kitchenware fermented milk types
400 nose pegs224 tents and tent parts 292 The fireplace 350 libation spoons for ceremonial use
Catalogue nos. 421-429Catalogue nos. 1-16
Catalogue nos. 347-348
295 hearths
403 bells235 Inside the ger
Catalogue nos. 118-136 352 light inside the ger
Catalogue nos. 430-433
Catalogue nos. 349-366235 The plan 299 cooking implements and kitchen
405 veterin ary instruments for camels
utensils 354 notes235 The interior arrangement
Catalogue nos. 434-443
Catalogue nos. 137-157





















































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contents8
410 objects for tending calves, goats 452 chapter 10
and sheep
The Three Manly Sports
Catalogue nos. 444-453
455 Wrestling412 Nursing bottles for young goats and sheep
458 Archery413 notes
459 Horse-racing
461 Archery equipment 414 chapter 8
Catalogue nos. 530-542Domestic Crafts
469 notes
417 The manufacture of leather

420 tanning
470 chapter 11Catalogue nos. 454-458
Games and Toys421 rope-making
Catalogue nos. 459-466
472 Shagai – dice and other games with animal
423 instruments for the manufacture knucklebones
of woollen products
474 shagai
Catalogue nos. 467-470 Catalogue nos. 543-551
425 spindles
476 khorol – the wooden playing cards
Catalogue nos. 471-479
Catalogue nos. 552-555
427 instruments for sewing in felt
480 miscellaneous games
Catalogue nos. 480-487
Catalogue nos. 556-560

428 Bootmaking according to Söderbom
483 shatara – mongolian chess

430 instruments for sewing in leather: Catalogue nos. 561-579
shoe- and boot-making
483 The chessmen
Catalogue nos. 488-493
484 The moves
431 a few embroidery tools
485 Collector’s itemsCatalogue nos. 494-495
493 toys431 carpentry
Catalogue nos. 580-593Catalogue nos. 496-514
499 notes435 tools used on caravans
Catalogue nos. 515-521
500 chapter 12
438 chapter 9 Healing, Medicine and Lama Doctors
Hunting
505 The Tibetan Buddhist medical tradition
in Mongolia – an outline442 The game
510 The lama doctor’s medical tools – and their 443 Weapons and techniques
possible interpretation
445 The fur trade
514 Catalogue nos. 594-617
447 Catalogue nos. 522-529

















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contents contents8 9
410 objects for tending calves, goats 521 medical instruments 560 tobacco pouches452 chapter 10
and sheep Catalogue nos. 618-625 Catalogue nos. 707-727
The Three Manly Sports
Catalogue nos. 444-453 523 two anatomical charts 565 snuff bottles
455 Wrestling412 Nursing bottles for young goats and sheep – and the medical books Catalogue nos. 728-768
Catalogue nos. 626-630458 Archery413 notes
576 miscellaneo us bags
526 personal hygiene459 Horse-racing Catalogue nos. 769-780
Catalogue nos. 631-637
461 Archery equipment 414 chapter 8 581 notes
527 notes
Catalogue nos. 530-542Domestic Crafts
469 notes 582 chapter 14
417 The manufacture of leather
528 chapter 13
Caravan Acc ountants
420 tanning Personal Possessions – Equipment and Ocials’ Seals470 chapter 11Catalogue nos. 454-458
536 Silver and the sil versmith’s craftGames and Toys421 rope-making 584 Catalogue nos. 781-789
Catalogue nos. 459-466 541 Sheath knives and accessories
586 seals472 Shagai – dice and other games with animal
423 instruments for the manufacture 542 sheath knives Catalogue nos. 790-797knucklebones
of woollen products Catalogue nos. 638-674
589 notes474 shagai
Catalogue nos. 467-470 552 belt buttonsCatalogue nos. 543-551
425 spindles Catalogue nos. 675-677
476 khorol – the wooden playing cards
Catalogue nos. 471-479
553 ribbons and tasselsCatalogue nos. 552-555 591 bibliography
427 instruments for sewing in felt Catalogue nos. 678-679
480 miscellaneous games 603 general index
Catalogue nos. 480-487
553 buttonsCatalogue nos. 556-560
611 geographic index
428 Bootmaking according to Söderbom Catalogue nos. 680-684
483 shatara – mongolian chess
614 names index
430 instruments for sewing in leather: 554 smoking and snuffingCatalogue nos. 561-579
shoe- and boot-making Catalogue nos. 685-706
483 The chessmen
Catalogue nos. 488-493
484 The moves
431 a few embroidery tools
485 Collector’s items Catalogue nos. 494-495
493 toys431 carpentry
Catalogue nos. 580-593Catalogue nos. 496-514
499 notes435 tools used on caravans
Catalogue nos. 515-521
500 chapter 12
438 chapter 9 Healing, Medicine and Lama Doctors
Hunting
505 The Tibetan Buddhist medical tradition
in Mongolia – an outline442 The game
510 The lama doctor’s medical tools – and their 443 Weapons and techniques
possible interpretation
445 The fur trade
514 Catalogue nos. 594-617
447 Catalogue nos. 522-529









































11
Editor’s Preface
Danish Nomad Research – An Overview
Pastoral nomads invariably fascinate the more earthbound Pastoral peoples do also wander with cattle and goats on
peoples among whom they live. Forever on the move with the East African plains and in South Africa, while scores of
tents and belongings, and with their flocks of goats, sheep, nomadic peoples have adapted to the arctic environment,
cattle, yaks, camels, horses or reindeer, these elusive people like the Saami, who herd reindeer in Northern Scandinavia,
capture our imagination. They call into question the very as do other indigenous peoples all across the taiga and
way of life that we rural people live and defy our ideas of forests of Northern Russia and Siberia to Kamchatka,
stable and secure homesteads. They stir our emotions by where some Chavchuvens still make a living with these
questioning values that we take for granted, and by animals.
offering a vision of an alternative and, as we tend to believe, For most pastoral nomads, however, living conditions
carefree existence. Awe and respect for the Scythians, have altered dramatically and irreversibly during the past
Huns, Old-Turks, Mongols and the Arab Bedouins, who all century. This is due in part to ecological changes such
carved out a prominent place in the history of the Old as increasing desertification, demographic pressure and
World, lie deep in the Western mind. So do images of land-grabbing, but also to political interventions and glob -
Tibetan nomads and their yaks surviving at altitudes al ization, and, most recently, to a frightening escalation in
where agriculture is impossible, of veiled Tuareg men insurgency and exposure to devastating wars, like those
mounted on the camels with which they have held sway transforming the economic situation of pastoral nomads
over the Sahara desert for centuries, controlling caravans in Afghanistan following the Saur Revolution in 1978. For
and trade between the Atlas Mountains and the West the past two decades war and anarchy has also ravaged the
African states, or of Masai families wandering with their Middle East and North Africa with similar devastating
cattle through the tall grasses of the East African savannah. consequences for nomadic peoples. Killings, banditry,
All are part of our perceptions and narratives of the world. abduction of herds, rape of women and widespread dis -
Some pastoral societies are all gone; others are being placements are disrupting social and economic relations
radically transformed; yet narratives and images of these and eroding the very foundation of a pastoral existence. In
people persist. They may be highly romanticised at times, recent times, the rise and widespread operations of Islamic
yet they do tell us of lives lived under harsh conditions, be extremist groups such as ISIL and Boko Haram, which
it by herding cattle on sparse steppe, traversing deserts pledge allegiance to the Islamic State, as well as the Alger -
with goats on camelback or following reindeer through ian branch of Al-Qaeda, AQIM, have affected and involved
deep snow. Even when far away in space or time, these pastoral peoples in West and North Africa, as have the
people enrich our lives. numerous independent or quasi-independent guerrilla
Pastoral nomadism is an age-old way of life confined groups which mushroom in the immense space of the
to the Old World, more specifically to the arid and semi- Sahel and Sahara desert, way beyond government control.
arid zones which stretch from the Atlantic Ocean through The highly profitable business of human trafficking from
North Africa, the Middle East, Iran and Afghanistan and West African states through the Sahara desert to Europe
further eastward from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakh - has fuelled the insurgency and also impacted the econ -
stan and Kyrgizstan via Mongolia and Tibet into China. omy of the nomadic peoples living here. These dramatic
Throughout the deserts and steppes in these regions changes in living conditions have forced some pastoral
pastoral peoples move from place to place with their herds nomads to give up their age-old way of existence, yet
to find pasture for their animals. Some cover vast distances others adapt and continue to pursue a migratory or
semiand rely on trade with settled agriculturalists and urban migratory way of life, moving from place to place with their
centres; others have more restricted patterns of mobility. herds.
Contents
Tis page is protected by copyright and may not be redistributed.12 editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview
Every one of these pastoral societies represents a herding to sustain the way of life of the nomads. These
unique historical process of ecological adaptation and nomads still hold sway over the region and the trade
interaction with changing socio-economic, cultural and passing through the Sahara, yet supplementing or re -
political environments. These processes go way back in placing camels with lorries, SUVs and other all-terrain
time to the first taming of goats, sheep and cattle in the vehicles for the transport of goods which now include
Zagros Mountains and southern Turkey some 10,000 years weapons, drugs and increasingly migrants and people
ago, and subsequently of horses, dromedaries, camels and subject to human trafficking.
yak. In Africa, pastoralism may well have developed prior
to farming, scientists now believe, as research indicates In Denmark, a serious scholarly interest in the way of life
that cattle were domesticated independently here and of these people dates back to the late nineteenth century.
prior to grain. Over the millennia, pastoral economies and From that time on, explorers, photographers and ethno -
cultures have developed into unique experiments in social graphers, and later trained scientists – geographers,
organization and different values and beliefs. Pastoralists archae ologists, linguists, botanists, and anthropologists –
have developed in-depth knowledge of the environments have carried out studies among nomadic societies. Some
in which they carve out a living, of their flora and fauna went alone, others were part of major research endeavours;
and, of course, of the animals on which they depend, some went to the field for shorter periods of time, others
including veterinary skills in caring for and treating them conducted lengthy in-depth studies returning over and
in case of illnesses. Pastoral nomadism is a highly spe - again to the peoples they worked among, like Professor
cialized occupation, yet pastoralists do not live apart from Johannes Nicolaisen, who studied the Tuareg of North and
the wider world, as one may perhaps imagine when first West Africa, and Klaus Ferdinand, who carried out research
coming upon their camps far away from urban centres; with several students in Afghanistan. A good number of
rather the pastoral herds and their produce form inte - explorers and scholars brought back rich collections of
grated and sometimes crucial parts of the economic and ethnographic artefacts to Danish museums, which, to -
social life of the geographical regions within which they gether with field notes, photographs, films and recordings
migrate. Pastoral nomads provide agriculturalists and document the ingenious technical know-how, crafts -
urban centres with animal produce and they transport manship, aesthetic values, beliefs and symbolic expressions
agricultural produce, salt and merchandise over long of the nomadic societies under consideration.
stretches of land to service them. It was the camels and A substantial part of these studies and unique
horses of Asian pastoralists that secured the invaluable collections remained unpublished after the return of the
trade on the Silk Road, trotting endless miles along the explorers and scholars, however. To remedy this short -
many routes, which linked China with India and the coming, the Carlsberg Foundation was approached in 1985
Mediterranean since Roman times. In some periods they by the late Klaus Ferdinand, then curator of the Ethno -
became dominant players on the historical arena. Think of graphic Department at the Moesgaard Museum, Rolf
the threat posed to China in the second century BC by the Gil berg, then curator at the Ethnographic Department of
Xeongnu nomads of Central Asia, a threat which made the the National Museum and Ida Nicolaisen, then associate
first Qin emperor restore and enlarge the great wall to professor at the Institute of Cultural Sociology, Copenhagen
stem their advance; or of the Mongol conquest and estab - University and later Editor-in-Chief of the publications, to
lishment of the Yuan Empire of China in the Middle Ages, secure funding for the analysis and writing up of the
or the Mongol conquest of Iran, Iraq, Syria and a good part material for publication. A year later, The Carlsberg Foun -
of Eastern Europe under Genghis Khan; or recall how the dation Nomad Research Project was launched to fulfil this
Tuareg, Tubu and Maures have held sway over the Sahara objective and publish the results of Danish research among
and the steppes of the Sahel by controlling the caravan pastoralists as different as the Mongol, Tibetan, Kyrghiz
routes, which since Roman days have connected West and Turkmen of Central Asia, Pashtun of Afghanistan, the
Africa with the Atlas region and Europe, and the trade Lur of Iran, the Bedouin of Qatar, the Tuareg of the Sahara
which still is in their hands based as before in part on and the nomadic Haddad and Kreda peoples of Chad. The
slavery or people working under slave-like conditions to current volume is the fifteenth and last of these publi -
mine salt, grow dates and carry out some of the tasks of cations.
Contents
Tis page is protected by copyright and may not be redistributed.12 editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview 13
Every one of these pastoral societies represents a herding to sustain the way of life of the nomads. These The research interests of the Danish scholars and explorers culture and animal husbandry in adaptation to increas -
unique historical process of ecological adaptation and nomads still hold sway over the region and the trade who endeavoured to record, understand and describe ingly scarce resources. Gudmund Hatt concluded from his
interaction with changing socio-economic, cultural and passing through the Sahara, yet supplementing or re - pastoral societies have varied greatly, in part due to studies of reindeer nomadism that it had its root in a
political environments. These processes go way back in placing camels with lorries, SUVs and other all-terrain existing or non-existing academic training, and in part to hunting culture in which tame reindeer were used as
time to the first taming of goats, sheep and cattle in the vehicles for the transport of goods which now include the changing theoretical agendas of the field of anthro - decoys. Although he discussed the origin of nomadism in
Zagros Mountains and southern Turkey some 10,000 years weapons, drugs and increasingly migrants and people pology over the past century. The issues which captured more general terms in later publications, Hatt ultimately
ago, and subsequently of horses, dromedaries, camels and subject to human trafficking. their imagination and the questions they asked were long linked this to aspects of hunting cultures. C. G. Feilberg,
yak. In Africa, pastoralism may well have developed prior influenced by culture-historical ethnology, a theoretical who carried out fieldwork among Lur pastoralists in Persia
to farming, scientists now believe, as research indicates In Denmark, a serious scholarly interest in the way of life approach which dominated Danish cultural geography and in 1935, dealt with the history of nomadism through an
that cattle were domesticated independently here and of these people dates back to the late nineteenth century. ethnography until the early 1950s. The empirical foun - intricate analysis of the structure and distribution of the
prior to grain. Over the millennia, pastoral economies and From that time on, explorers, photographers and ethno - dation of this theoretical school was primarily studies of black tent, a study which later impacted both Johannes
cultures have developed into unique experiments in social graphers, and later trained scientists – geographers, subsistence systems and material culture in order to Nicolaisen’s study of tents among the Tuareg, and Klaus
organization and different values and beliefs. Pastoralists archae ologists, linguists, botanists, and anthropologists – establish cultural patterns and historical connections. This Ferdinand’s corresponding studies in Afghanistan.
have developed in-depth knowledge of the environments have carried out studies among nomadic societies. Some interest went hand in hand with the institutional set-up Parallel with this theoretical interest in pastoral
in which they carve out a living, of their flora and fauna went alone, others were part of major research endeavours; in Denmark – the fact that ethnog raphy was carried out by nomadism in the early part of the twentieth century,
and, of course, of the animals on which they depend, some went to the field for shorter periods of time, others cultural geographers at the Department of Geography at impressive collections of ethnographic specimens from a
including veterinary skills in caring for and treating them conducted lengthy in-depth studies returning over and Copenhagen University or at the Ethnographic Depart - wide range of pastoral peoples found their way into the
in case of illnesses. Pastoral nomadism is a highly spe - again to the peoples they worked among, like Professor ment of the National Museum. Among the former were National Museum of Denmark. The most important of
cialized occupation, yet pastoralists do not live apart from Johannes Nicolaisen, who studied the Tuareg of North and Professor H. P. Steensby (1875–1920) and Professor Gud - these were collected by Ole Olufsen (1865–1929) in the
the wider world, as one may perhaps imagine when first West Africa, and Klaus Ferdinand, who carried out research mund Hatt (1884–1960), who both had a keen interest in Pamirs, West Turkestan and North Africa, by Henning
coming upon their camps far away from urban centres; with several students in Afghanistan. A good number of arctic societies. Among the latter were Dr Carl Gunnar Haslund-Christensen (1896–1948) in Mongolia and by C. G.
rather the pastoral herds and their produce form inte - explorers and scholars brought back rich collections of Feilberg (1894–1972), who became professor of human Feilberg (1894–1972) among the Lur of Iran. After the
grated and sometimes crucial parts of the economic and ethnographic artefacts to Danish museums, which, to - geography, and Dr Kaj Birket-Smith (1893–1977), an Inuit Second World War, the National Museum and the Moes -
social life of the geographical regions within which they gether with field notes, photographs, films and recordings specialist who became the first lecturer in ethnography in gaard Museum in Jutland received new collections. A
migrate. Pastoral nomads provide agriculturalists and document the ingenious technical know-how, crafts - Denmark. The theoretical outlook changed only in the late treasure of Tibetan specimen was donated by His Royal
urban centres with animal produce and they transport manship, aesthetic values, beliefs and symbolic expressions 1950s from the former focus on history and material Highness Prince Peter of Greece to Denmark (1908–1980).
agricultural produce, salt and merchandise over long of the nomadic societies under consideration. culture to one on social, cultural, economic and political The collections were further enriched by the botanist
stretches of land to service them. It was the camels and A substantial part of these studies and unique issues. This happened with the appointment of Johannes Lennart Edelberg (1915–1981) and by Klaus Ferdinand (1926
horses of Asian pastoralists that secured the invaluable collections remained unpublished after the return of the Nicolaisen as lecturer and subsequently, in 1964, as the first –2005), who began their work among Afghan nomads in
trade on the Silk Road, trotting endless miles along the explorers and scholars, however. To remedy this short - professor of anthropology at Copenhagen University fol - the late 1940s and early 1950s respectively. Edelberg would
many routes, which linked China with India and the coming, the Carlsberg Foundation was approached in 1985 lowed by the establishment of a separate Institute of later supplement Feilberg’s collection from the Lur and
Mediterranean since Roman times. In some periods they by the late Klaus Ferdinand, then curator of the Ethno - Anthropology. A similar develop ment was initiated with Ferdinand assemble a fine ethnographic collection among
became dominant players on the historical arena. Think of graphic Department at the Moesgaard Museum, Rolf the appointment of Klaus Ferdinand as curator of the the Bedouin of Qatar. Finally, Johannes Nicolaisen (1921–
the threat posed to China in the second century BC by the Gil berg, then curator at the Ethnographic Department of ethno graphic collections at the Moesgaard Museum and 1980) and Ida Nicolaisen (b. 1940) brought back ethno -
Xeongnu nomads of Central Asia, a threat which made the the National Museum and Ida Nicolaisen, then associate the establishment of a degree in anthropology at Aarhus graphic collections from the Tuareg of the Sahara and the
first Qin emperor restore and enlarge the great wall to professor at the Institute of Cultural Sociology, Copenhagen University. Sahel, as well as from the Kreda and Haddad of Chad in the
stem their advance; or of the Mongol conquest and estab - University and later Editor-in-Chief of the publications, to The institutional roots of Danish anthropology had a 1950s and 1960s.
lishment of the Yuan Empire of China in the Middle Ages, secure funding for the analysis and writing up of the marked influence on the perspectives that scholars first The earliest of the major Danish collections of nomad
or the Mongol conquest of Iran, Iraq, Syria and a good part material for publication. A year later, The Carlsberg Foun - brought to the study of pastoral societies. It influenced artefacts are those from Ole Olufsen’s expeditions to the
of Eastern Europe under Genghis Khan; or recall how the dation Nomad Research Project was launched to fulfil this their view of nomadism, defined the scientific problems Pamirs and West Turkestan in the late 1890s, if we dis -
Tuareg, Tubu and Maures have held sway over the Sahara objective and publish the results of Danish research among they pursued and made them focus initially on the count the collections from the Saami of northern Norway
and the steppes of the Sahel by controlling the caravan pastoralists as different as the Mongol, Tibetan, Kyrghiz material culture, origin and historical transformation of from the seventeenth century. Olufsen was a military man
routes, which since Roman days have connected West and Turkmen of Central Asia, Pashtun of Afghanistan, the pastoralism. On the basis of data gathered on an expedition with a keen interest in geography and the exploration of
Africa with the Atlas region and Europe, and the trade Lur of Iran, the Bedouin of Qatar, the Tuareg of the Sahara to North Africa in 1908, H. P. Steensby argued, as had the little known regions of the earth. He was appointed
which still is in their hands based as before in part on and the nomadic Haddad and Kreda peoples of Chad. The French scholars A. Bernard and N. Lacroix, that the various honorary professor of geography at Copenhagen University.
slavery or people working under slave-like conditions to current volume is the fifteenth and last of these publi - forms of pastoral nomadism found in that region had In 1896–1897 and 1898–1899 he organised and led two
mine salt, grow dates and carry out some of the tasks of cations. developed from subsistence systems based on both agri - exped itions to the Pamirs and West Turkestan. In the
Contents
Tis page is protected by copyright and may not be redistributed.14 editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview
course of these he gathered topographical, meteorological, Mongols in the Tien Shan Mountains. Sven Hedin was
hydro graphical, zoological, botanical and ethnographical mainly engaged in the exploration and mapping of the
data. Olufsen travelled widely within the Emirate of areas the expedition traversed, while Haslund-Christensen
Bokhara and Russian Turkestan. He was interested in the pursued his interest in the cultural life of the peoples they
cultures of the various ethnic groups and collected some met, and he made recordings of sixty folk songs on wax
700 artefacts among the pastoral Kyrgyz and Turkmen, the cylinders and collected ethnographic specimens for the
Uzbeks and various urban ethnic groups. Later expeditions Riksmuseet in Stockholm. In 1936–1937 Haslund-Christen -
in 1908 and 1922–1923 took Olufsen to North Africa where sen was back in Mongolia, this time on his own, to collect
he also made collections of botanical, mineralogical and artefacts for the large new National Museum in Copen -
ethnographic specimens, including a tent from the Tuareg. hagen, which was going to open the following year with
Although Olufsen published accounts of his travels, his brand new exhibitions in a considerably expanded space.
most enduring contributions lie in the opening up of new Despite difficulties caused by the Japanese occupation of
research areas for others and in the ethnographic collec - Manchuria and Inner Mongolia, he was able to spend
tions he brought back. Olufsen’s expeditions to the Pamirs several months with the Eastern Mongols. In 1938–1939 he
and West Turkestan and the magnificent collections he launched a second expedition to Central Asia, this time
bought are described by Esther Fihl in Exploring Central Asia under the auspices of the Royal Danish Geographical Soci -
I–II (2002). ety, together with the linguist Kaare Grønbech (1901–1957)
A unique Mongol collection of some 3,000 artefacts and the archaeologist Werner Jacobsen (1914–1979). During
was put together by the Danish explorer and ethnographer this expedition the southern part of Inner Mon golia was
Henning Haslund-Christensen, with the help of Georg surveyed and additional ethnographic collections secured
Söderbom, his Swedish colleague on the Sven Hedin exped - for the National Museum. Thanks to Georg Söderbom, yet
itions. Unlike most other collectors of museum specimens another considerable collection of artefacts was obtained
of the time, Haslund-Christensen understood the necessity illuminating the daily life of the nomads.
of providing information on the use and place of origin of After the Second World War and shredding plans of a
the artefacts, as well as the circumstances under which return to Mongolia, Haslund embarked on a new adven -
these were obtained. The collection includes objects of ture, this time heading for Afghanistan. In the years
everyday life such as tools, costumes, jewelry and house - 1947–1956 he secured support for a major Danish research
hold utensils from most of the twenty or so Mongol groups, programme, The Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia,
but largely from the Chahar Mongols. The exquisite to be carried out under his leadership. The research ini -
garments of this fine collection, a total of more than 400 tiative covered a wide range of fields including as
items, are analysed and presented by Henny Harald Han - ethno grap hical, botanical, zoological, geographical, phys -
sen (1900–1993) in Mongol Costumes (1993), the jewelry by icalanthropological and linguistic studies in Afghanistan,
Martha Boyer (1911–1995) in Mongol Jewelry (1995), where as Chitral, Kashmir, Ladakh, Sikkim, and Assam. Sadly
the bulk of the specimen brought back by Haslund are enough, Haslund-Christensen was not to see the results of
presented in full by Christel Braae (b. 1949) in this volume. his efforts as he passed away in Kabul in 1948. About a
Haslund, as he was known among his colleagues, had dozen scholars participated in the expedition during the
come to Mongolia in 1923 with five other adventurous ensuing years, and two of them developed an interest in
young Danes on the initiative of the physician Carl I. Krebs nomadism and the culture of nomadic peoples. The first
(1889–1971) to establish a farm southwest of Lake Baikal in was H R H Prince Peter (1908–1980), the only trained an -
Uriankhai. During the three years he spent there, Haslund thro po logist on the team; the other was my father’s
came to know and admire the Mongols. He learned the brother, the botanist Lennart Edelberg.
language and a good deal about the culture. In 1926 he left Prince Peter was familiar with the work of Freud and
the farm, went to Ulan Bator and later to Peking, where he Jung through his mother, Princess Marie Bonaparte, but
was engaged by the Swedish geographer and explorer Sven chose the study of social anthropology with Bronislaw
Hedin as a caravaneer for the Sino-Swedish Expedition. In Malinowski in London. He developed an interest in poly -
the years 1927–1935 this expedition went from Kalgan andry and went to Southern India to study the Toda,
through the Gobi Desert to Xinjiang and to the Torgut among whom it was customary for a woman to wed two
Contents
Tis page is protected by copyright and may not be redistributed.14 editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview 15
course of these he gathered topographical, meteorological, Mongols in the Tien Shan Mountains. Sven Hedin was men. In the years 1949–1951 he settled in Kalimpong on the include other fields, including issues of socio-economic
hydro graphical, zoological, botanical and ethnographical mainly engaged in the exploration and mapping of the southern slopes of the Himalayas in West Bengal, to study change. Nicolaisen, in particular, addressed theoretical
data. Olufsen travelled widely within the Emirate of areas the expedition traversed, while Haslund-Christensen this marriage preference among Tibetans in and passing problems regarding social organization, cultural per cep -
Bokhara and Russian Turkestan. He was interested in the pursued his interest in the cultural life of the peoples they through the city (cf. A Study of Polyandry, The Hague 1963). It tions and behaviour, influenced by his studies of social
cultures of the various ethnic groups and collected some met, and he made recordings of sixty folk songs on wax was during his stay here that Prince Peter purchased an anthropology at the University of London in the 1950s.
700 artefacts among the pastoral Kyrgyz and Turkmen, the cylinders and collected ethnographic specimens for the exquisite collection of Tibetan clothing, tools, implements Johannes Nicolaisen began his studies of North African
Uzbeks and various urban ethnic groups. Later expeditions Riksmuseet in Stockholm. In 1936–1937 Haslund-Christen - and household belongings, all of which has been analysed nomads as a student in 1947 with fieldwork among Berber
in 1908 and 1922–1923 took Olufsen to North Africa where sen was back in Mongolia, this time on his own, to collect and published in this series by the former director of the and Arabic-speaking pastoral groups in and just south of
he also made collections of botanical, mineralogical and artefacts for the large new National Museum in Copen - Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, Shuyler Jones, in a volume the Atlas Mountains in Algeria, an area he revisited in 1950
ethnographic specimens, including a tent from the Tuareg. hagen, which was going to open the following year with entitled Tibetan Nomads (1996). after he had gained a master’s degree in ethnography at
Although Olufsen published accounts of his travels, his brand new exhibitions in a considerably expanded space. Upon Haslund-Christensen’s untimely death in Kabul, Copenhagen University – the first person to do so. It was
most enduring contributions lie in the opening up of new Despite difficulties caused by the Japanese occupation of HR H Prince Peter was appointed leader of the expedition the Tuareg, however, who captured his fascination and
research areas for others and in the ethnographic collec - Manchuria and Inner Mongolia, he was able to spend and he would devote time to making documentaries in the heart, and whose society and culture became the main
tions he brought back. Olufsen’s expeditions to the Pamirs several months with the Eastern Mongols. In 1938–1939 he northern parts of the country. Lennart Edelberg had joined subject of his research after he had earned his degree as the
and West Turkestan and the magnificent collections he launched a second expedition to Central Asia, this time the expedition in 1947 as a botanist, but his interests first academically trained anthropologist in Denmark.
bought are described by Esther Fihl in Exploring Central Asia under the auspices of the Royal Danish Geographical Soci - switched to the material culture and transhumance and to Nicolaisen spent more than three years among these
I–II (2002). ety, together with the linguist Kaare Grønbech (1901–1957) Afghan nomadism in general, and after some time he people between 1951 and 1964, living and travelling alone
A unique Mongol collection of some 3,000 artefacts and the archaeologist Werner Jacobsen (1914–1979). During began shipping ethnographic collections back to Denmark. or with them on camelback. All in all he visited the Tuareg
was put together by the Danish explorer and ethnographer this expedition the southern part of Inner Mon golia was He returned to Nuristan several times to pursue his nine times, studying their society and the changes which
Henning Haslund-Christensen, with the help of Georg surveyed and additional ethnographic collections secured interests, and his considerable ethnographic collection the Ahaggar and Ayr groups in particular were experi -
Söderbom, his Swedish colleague on the Sven Hedin exped - for the National Museum. Thanks to Georg Söderbom, yet went on display at the opening of the Moesgaard Museum encing. Johannes Nicolaisen had familiarized himself with
itions. Unlike most other collectors of museum specimens another considerable collection of artefacts was obtained in 1970 and included a section of a Nuristan house with British social anthropology at University College, London
of the time, Haslund-Christensen understood the necessity illuminating the daily life of the nomads. inventory. Upon his return from Afghanistan in 1949, where he studied for a good two years from 1952 to 1954, as
of providing information on the use and place of origin of After the Second World War and shredding plans of a Edelberg had advocated for in-depth studies of Afghan pas - already mentioned, and the theoretical and methodological
the artefacts, as well as the circumstances under which return to Mongolia, Haslund embarked on a new adven - toralists and his ideas informed the programme of yet discussion there had a profound impact on his theoretical
these were obtained. The collection includes objects of ture, this time heading for Afghanistan. In the years another Danish expedition to Afghanistan, the Haslund- development and future analysis of Tuareg society. In his
everyday life such as tools, costumes, jewelry and house - 1947–1956 he secured support for a major Danish research Christensen Memorial Expedition 1953–1955, under the own words, he had to start all over again academically in
hold utensils from most of the twenty or so Mongol groups, programme, The Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia, lead ership of Prince Peter. The other participants were England; that is how differently anthropology was pursued
but largely from the Chahar Mongols. The exquisite to be carried out under his leadership. The research ini - Klaus Ferdinand, who began his studies of Aimaq pas tor - in the culture-historically oriented Danish environment
garments of this fine collection, a total of more than 400 tiative covered a wide range of fields including as alists and the collection of ethnographic specimens. and the structural-functional schools dominating British
items, are analysed and presented by Henny Harald Han - ethno grap hical, botanical, zoological, geographical, phys - Fer di nand would return to the country over and again to anthropology at the time. Although maintaining an inter -
sen (1900–1993) in Mongol Costumes (1993), the jewelry by icalanthropological and linguistic studies in Afghanistan, resume research among pastoral nomads, as we shall see. est in historical anthropology and ecology, it was the
Martha Boyer (1911–1995) in Mongol Jewelry (1995), where as Chitral, Kashmir, Ladakh, Sikkim, and Assam. Sadly The other members of the expedition were the pho tog - organization of society and Tuareg behaviour that became
the bulk of the specimen brought back by Haslund are enough, Haslund-Christensen was not to see the results of rapher Peter Rasmussen (1918–1992) and Lennart Edel berg, the focus of his data collecting. His works examine in detail
presented in full by Christel Braae (b. 1949) in this volume. his efforts as he passed away in Kabul in 1948. About a who had lost his heart to Afghanistan, more specifically to the intricate kinship systems and kinship behaviour,
socioHaslund, as he was known among his colleagues, had dozen scholars participated in the expedition during the the province of Nuristan. political organization, slavery and beliefs of these nomads,
come to Mongolia in 1923 with five other adventurous ensuing years, and two of them developed an interest in as well as the ecological adaptations and socio-economic
young Danes on the initiative of the physician Carl I. Krebs nomadism and the culture of nomadic peoples. The first In the 1950s Danish research among pastoral peoples began transformations of various Tuareg groups. The material
(1889–1971) to establish a farm southwest of Lake Baikal in was H R H Prince Peter (1908–1980), the only trained an - to change its theoretical and methodological scope, was published in articles and in the monograph The Pastoral
Uriankhai. During the three years he spent there, Haslund thro po logist on the team; the other was my father’s spearheaded by Johannes Nicolaisen and soon followed by Tuareg. Ecology, Culture and Society (Copenhagen 1963). Soon
came to know and admire the Mongols. He learned the brother, the botanist Lennart Edelberg. his colleague and friend, Klaus Ferdinand. With this first after its publication Nicolaisen went back to the Tuareg,
language and a good deal about the culture. In 1926 he left Prince Peter was familiar with the work of Freud and batch of academically trained anthropologists began the this time for a study of social relations among a group
the farm, went to Ulan Bator and later to Peking, where he Jung through his mother, Princess Marie Bonaparte, but long-term in-depth studies of pastoral nomads, considered migrating in the western part of Niger and bordering Mali.
was engaged by the Swedish geographer and explorer Sven chose the study of social anthropology with Bronislaw indispensable today to a thorough understanding of the Despite his substantial contributions to nomad studies,
Hedin as a caravaneer for the Sino-Swedish Expedition. In Malinowski in London. He developed an interest in poly - societies under investigation. Although both Nicolaisen Nicolaisen left a considerable amount of his data unpub -
the years 1927–1935 this expedition went from Kalgan andry and went to Southern India to study the Toda, and Ferdinand maintained an interest in historical ana - lished upon his untimely death. The editor of this series
through the Gobi Desert to Xinjiang and to the Torgut among whom it was customary for a woman to wed two lysis and material culture, they broadened their studies to wrote up part of this unpublished material. It was subse -
Contents
Tis page is protected by copyright and may not be redistributed.16 editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview
quently published with a revised edition of Johannes Ni co - deriksen (b. 1949), Asta Olesen (b. 1952) and Gorm Pedersen
laisen’s monograph (1963) as Johannes Nicolaisen & Ida (b. 1949), who took up studies among different pastoral
Nicolaisen: The Pastoral Tuareg I–II (1997). peoples, itinerant groups and migrating artisans. Birthe
Johannes Nicolaisen had a long-standing interest in Frederiksen carried out her work among the Hazar buz of
hunter-gatherer societies and in the summer of 1963 he the Mohmand tribe and Gorm Pedersen among the Zala
and Ida Nicolaisen, his wife and a fellow anthropologist, Khan Khel of the Ahmadzai tribe, groups which both relied
went to Chad – more precisely to Kanem – to begin a study on or had been heavily involved in trading in the past. Asta
of the Haddad, about whom very little was published. Some Olesen did her research among non-pastoral nomads, more
of these foragers used the age-old technique of disguise to specifically the highly specialized itinerant craftsmen and
creep up on game; others hunted with nets and lived for peddlers who practise so-called peripatetic nomadism.
periods of time in among the pastoral Kreda on terms Ferdinand devoted his own time to the col lecting of
similar to slavery. The work was cut short, unfortunately, information on the history of nomad bazaars and trad -
by the rising insurgency in the country and future plans to itional caravan activities and trade routes. All of these
resume fieldwork among these interesting people had to studies have now been published in this series.
be shelved. To my knowledge, new studies have not been In 1959 Ferdinand took part in the Danish Archaeo -
carried out among Haddad foragers and I decided therefore logical Expedition to Qatar, which was part of a pro -
to publish the results of our findings and a catalogue of the gramme of extensive archaeological excavations in the Gulf
collections I made for the National Museum and Moes - States, which are still ongoing today. Initiated in Bahrain
gaard Museum. Collections were also made for the Musée in 1953 by Professor P. V. Glob (1911–1985), then professor of
National N’Djamena. The results are published in Ida prehistoric archaeology at the University of Aarhus, the
Nicolaisen: Elusive Hunters. The Haddad of Kanem and the Bahr- programme was broadened in 1957 to include Qatar. To -
el-Ghazal (2010). gether with the photographer Jette Bang (1914–1964)
Klaus Ferdinand’s interest in pastoral nomadism began Fer di nand studied both northern and southern groups of
with his travels in Afghanistan in 1953–1955, as member of Bedouin and collected ethnographic specimens at a time
the Henning Haslund-Christensen Memorial Expedition. when they were both rapidly giving up pastoral nomadism
Ferdinand was trained as an ethnographer with a focus on and their traditional way of life. His first-hand ethno -
culture-historical studies, and, inspired by C. G. Feilberg’s graphic observations and collection of specimens and Jette
work on the black tent, he devoted substantial time to the Bang’s photos are published in Bedouins of Qatar (1993), as the
study of tents among various pastoral groups. He worked first volume in the series. Little else has been written about
specifically among the Pashtun and Aimaq and developed these nomads and the book has later been republished in
an interest in economic specialization among pastoral Qatar; the close collaboration between the Moesgaard
groups: semi-nomadism, trading nomadism and ‘true’ pas - Museum and the National Museum of Qatar has continued
toral nomadism. Prince Peter and Ferdinand were the first to this day.
to document bazaars set up and managed by pastoralists Taken as a whole, these early Danish studies of no -
in Central Afghanistan during the summer. Klaus Ferdi - madic societies and cultures are widely different in scope,
nand continued fieldwork and the collection of ethno - as we have seen, reflecting the educational back ground,
grap hic specimens for the Moesgaard Museum among interests and theoretical orientation of the explorers and
pastoral nomads in East and Central Afghanistan in 1960, scholars, the length of time they spent in the field, and the
1965–1966 and 1974, partly together with his wife Mari - historical period in which they carried out their work. As
anne. Little was known at that time of the social and ethnographic statements, the studies must be appreciated
economic life or the culture of these people, despite the fact and analysed against this background. This goes for the
that pastoral nomads played a substantial and integrative museum collections as well. These cannot be appraised
economic role and had done so throughout the history of uncritically as objective representations of the societies
modern Afghanistan. In 1975 Ferdinand returned to Af - which produced them. Invariably, each collection is the
ghani stan to pursue the study of nomadic traders and the result of a selection by the fieldworker, who has made
now rapidly changing economies of the nomads. This time choices on the basis of implicit or explicit criteria of
he was accompanied by three of his students: Birthe Fre - significance and representation. As such each collection is
Contents
Tis page is protected by copyright and may not be redistributed.16 editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview 17
quently published with a revised edition of Johannes Ni co - deriksen (b. 1949), Asta Olesen (b. 1952) and Gorm Pedersen also a reflection to some degree of Western culture and allowed to block thoroughfares and fence in considerable
laisen’s monograph (1963) as Johannes Nicolaisen & Ida (b. 1949), who took up studies among different pastoral prerogatives, scientific ideas and aesthetic values over time. areas traditionally used by the nomads. Some governments
Nicolaisen: The Pastoral Tuareg I–II (1997). peoples, itinerant groups and migrating artisans. Birthe When removed from the original setting and context, have tried to force pastoral nomads to settle, at times
Johannes Nicolaisen had a long-standing interest in Frederiksen carried out her work among the Hazar buz of moreover, the objects are numbered and stored in mu - within highly restricted areas, as was once the case in
hunter-gatherer societies and in the summer of 1963 he the Mohmand tribe and Gorm Pedersen among the Zala seums and restaged in exhibitions, which may purport to Senegal. An extreme case in that respect is the fate of the
and Ida Nicolaisen, his wife and a fellow anthropologist, Khan Khel of the Ahmadzai tribe, groups which both relied replicate faithfully such abstract entities as, for example, Palestinian nomads, but Iranian pastoralists were also
went to Chad – more precisely to Kanem – to begin a study on or had been heavily involved in trading in the past. Asta Mongol culture. The interpretations and evaluations of the forced to settle down, in their case by Reza Shah as early as
of the Haddad, about whom very little was published. Some Olesen did her research among non-pastoral nomads, more ethnographic collections and other ethnographic data, the 1920s, a fate that befell the Lur, among whom C. G.
of these foragers used the age-old technique of disguise to specifically the highly specialized itinerant craftsmen and which are presented in this series of publications, take Feilberg worked. Other forces are at play, however, some,
creep up on game; others hunted with nets and lived for peddlers who practise so-called peripatetic nomadism. these issues into consideration. which tempt rather than push pastoral nomads to change
periods of time in among the pastoral Kreda on terms Ferdinand devoted his own time to the col lecting of their way of life. Major players in the former respect are
similar to slavery. The work was cut short, unfortunately, information on the history of nomad bazaars and trad - Pastoral societies are rarely if ever economically self reliant, education and new economic possibilities in the wake of
by the rising insurgency in the country and future plans to itional caravan activities and trade routes. All of these as previously mentioned; they invariably exchange their globalization, which entice an ever increasing number of
resume fieldwork among these interesting people had to studies have now been published in this series. animal products – hides, milk, cheese, butter and meat – the young men in particular to opt for new lifestyles,
be shelved. To my knowledge, new studies have not been In 1959 Ferdinand took part in the Danish Archaeo - for cereals, salt, tea, clothes, jewellery and other things despite the widespread reluctance of pastoralists to give up
carried out among Haddad foragers and I decided therefore logical Expedition to Qatar, which was part of a pro - which they need or desire. Some pastoral communities the freedom of movement and embrace city life. Thus
to publish the results of our findings and a catalogue of the gramme of extensive archaeological excavations in the Gulf include smiths who forge the necessary tools, swords, young Mongolian pastoralists can be found in Hong Kong,
collections I made for the National Museum and Moes - States, which are still ongoing today. Initiated in Bahrain knives and some even guns of iron; other groups sell or where they continue to work in the transport sector. They
gaard Museum. Collections were also made for the Musée in 1953 by Professor P. V. Glob (1911–1985), then professor of exchange their produce to purchase necessary implements. use the age-old trade routes and family partners along the
National N’Djamena. The results are published in Ida prehistoric archaeology at the University of Aarhus, the Many nomads engage in trade sometimes over very long way and to support the start-up of businesses. Economic
Nicolaisen: Elusive Hunters. The Haddad of Kanem and the Bahr- programme was broadened in 1957 to include Qatar. To - distances, transporting wares such as salt, like the Tuareg development has also put a quick end to nomadism in
el-Ghazal (2010). gether with the photographer Jette Bang (1914–1964) caravans in the Sahara, or opium, a trade offering some some cases. This happened to the Bedouin in the Gulf
Klaus Ferdinand’s interest in pastoral nomadism began Fer di nand studied both northern and southern groups of Afghan nomads a substantial source of cash, or other items, region, where the oil adventure opened up for blue-collar
with his travels in Afghanistan in 1953–1955, as member of Bedouin and collected ethnographic specimens at a time which they sell at bazaars and markets. Pastoral nomads jobs at refineries and other petro-businesses, subsequently
the Henning Haslund-Christensen Memorial Expedition. when they were both rapidly giving up pastoral nomadism are not only expert herders; many have also proven capable jettisoning traditional ways of life and turning the desert
Ferdinand was trained as an ethnographer with a focus on and their traditional way of life. His first-hand ethno - of adapting to fast-changing economic and political into sprawling cities and golf-lawns. Among those who
culture-historical studies, and, inspired by C. G. Feilberg’s graphic observations and collection of specimens and Jette conditions. Since the 1960s demographic pressure and the gave up pastoralism entirely were the Bedouin of Qatar,
work on the black tent, he devoted substantial time to the Bang’s photos are published in Bedouins of Qatar (1993), as the ensuing competition over land and pastures between among whom Klaus Ferdinand and the photographer Jette
study of tents among various pastoral groups. He worked first volume in the series. Little else has been written about nomads and peasants have put severe strain on many a Bang had spent time in 1959. A decade later the nomadic
specifically among the Pashtun and Aimaq and developed these nomads and the book has later been republished in pastoral economy. Trade and transport have run into life of these Bedouin was nothing but history.
an interest in economic specialization among pastoral Qatar; the close collaboration between the Moesgaard difficulties as well. Camels and horses lose out in com -
groups: semi-nomadism, trading nomadism and ‘true’ pas - Museum and the National Museum of Qatar has continued petition with trucks; trade routes get closed by political By the mid-1980s Danish research among pastoral nomads
toral nomadism. Prince Peter and Ferdinand were the first to this day. decrees or due to wars, and traditional items of local had come to a standstill. At this point in time, the way of
to document bazaars set up and managed by pastoralists Taken as a whole, these early Danish studies of no - manufacture become obsolete and replaced by new, indus - the life of these people was impacted not only by changing
in Central Afghanistan during the summer. Klaus Ferdi - madic societies and cultures are widely different in scope, trially produced goods. A serious obstacle to the continuous socio-economic, political and environmental conditions
nand continued fieldwork and the collection of ethno - as we have seen, reflecting the educational back ground, existence of a migratory way of life has been government and by administrative regulations, but more tragically so,
grap hic specimens for the Moesgaard Museum among interests and theoretical orientation of the explorers and policies and bureaucratic regulations, which restrict mi - by widespread insurgency and armed conflicts, which
pastoral nomads in East and Central Afghanistan in 1960, scholars, the length of time they spent in the field, and the gra tory routes and access to pastures and hence curb the caused unspeakable hardship and many deaths, as already
1965–1966 and 1974, partly together with his wife Mari - historical period in which they carried out their work. As flexibility and adaptability of the pastoralists to the ever- intimated. The situation was to grow ever more dire in the
anne. Little was known at that time of the social and ethnographic statements, the studies must be appreciated changing ecological conditions that allows them to find decades to come, affecting an ever-increasing number of
economic life or the culture of these people, despite the fact and analysed against this background. This goes for the crucial fodder for their herds. This has been the case in East pastoral societies throughout North Africa and the Middle
that pastoral nomads played a substantial and integrative museum collections as well. These cannot be appraised Africa for Masai and other pastoral groups, some times East. In Afghanistan, where Danish scholars had worked
economic role and had done so throughout the history of uncritically as objective representations of the societies justified by governments as a measure of protection for the more or less continuously since 1947, and where no less
modern Afghanistan. In 1975 Ferdinand returned to Af - which produced them. Invariably, each collection is the wildlife, although studies have shown that cattle are than eight anthropologists undertook studies in the 1970s,
ghani stan to pursue the study of nomadic traders and the result of a selection by the fieldworker, who has made actually crucial to the maintenance of the savannah, as the field research had become practically impossible. The Saur
now rapidly changing economies of the nomads. This time choices on the basis of implicit or explicit criteria of cows graze on bushes not eaten by other hoofed species. In revolution in 1978 and the invasion a year later by the
he was accompanied by three of his students: Birthe Fre - significance and representation. As such each collection is some cases owners of private game reserves have been Soviet army sealed off the country to the outside world in
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Tis page is protected by copyright and may not be redistributed.18 editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview
the wake of which research fell by the wayside. For the Kreda peoples. The situation did not truly ameliorate in the
people there, including the nomads, the security situation ensuing years. In the early 1970s two French colleagues
was to deteriorate further with the creation of the Islamic were taken hostage by Tubu nomads, and Johannes and I
State and the armed conflicts that followed Taliban eventually gave up plans for a continued study in Kanem.
interference. Nor did it improve upon Operation Enduring By the early 1980s armed conflicts were widespread in the
Freedom or subsequent military interventions by the US Sahel region and today the situation is highly precarious
and other NATO countries. Afghan refugees, including for those nomads who still migrate with their herds, as
pastoral nomads, poured by the millions into neighbouring mentioned above. Research among these has become ex -
Pakistan and Iran upon the Soviet invasion, and they have tremely difficult, the more so as hostage taking has become
done so in great numbers ever since, many ending up by big business in the region.
2015 as victims of the humanitarian crisis in Europe.
Luristan, another focus of Danish archaeological and As a consequence of the above-mentioned political devel -
anthropological research from the 1930s, was also barred to opments, and the challenges to and transformations of
foreign researchers in 1979 upon the return from exile and pastoral nomadism, the long-term Danish research agenda
coming into power of Ayatollah Khomeini and his gov - had reached a threshold by the mid-1980s. Continued
ernment. Danish archaeologists would later resume studies in the field had become precarious in a range of
re search collaboration and the anthropologist Janne Bjerre pastoral societies. In practice some countries were closed
Christensen has returned repeatedly since 1995 to do to research, such as Afghanistan and Chad, and the
research in Iran. Yet, to my knowledge, none of the many numbers would grow to include Algeria, Mali and Niger.
Danish anthropologists have taken up studies among the The human tragedies and ‘new realities’, which set the
pastoral or former pastoral peoples. stage for the way of life of the pastoralists, forced Danish
scholars to rethink their research agendas and respon -
Pastoralists migrating on the plains of West Africa and in sibilities towards the people they had worked among and
the Sahara were also facing serious hardship and dif - come to care about. It was obvious that their photos, films,
ficulties by the early 1980s, set off at first not so much by material specimen, notes and diaries attained new
sigarmed conflicts as by droughts, which caused famine and nifi cance as irreplaceable sources of information on the
death among the nomads and animals alike. They struck history, social and cultural life, knowledge, rituals and
first in the 1970s and returned even more severely between skills in husbandry of the pastoralists the anthropologists
1980 and 1985, wiping out herds in great numbers and had worked among. In this light, it seemed necessary to us
putting a final end to pastoralism for a great many people. that the material ought to be made available, not only for
I travelled extensively throughout the region in those years researchers but also for the nomads, whose history, social
to monitor programmes undertaken by the UN Sudano- and cultural life it documented, and for the countries in
Sahelian Office (UNSO) and supported by DANIDA. They which they were citizens.
were set up specifically to ameliorate the consequences of As a result, Klaus Ferdinand, then Curator of the
the droughts and I witnessed the hunger and devastating Ethnographic Department at the Moesgaard Museum, Rolf
conditions for pastoralism across the steppe of West Africa, Gilberg, then Curator at the Ethnographic Department of
Sudan and also Ethiopia and Somalia. Soon after the entire the Danish National Museum, and Associate Professor Ida
region began to suffer from an increasing number of armed Nicolaisen, then at the Institute of Cultural Sociology,
conflicts and became afflicted by widespread terrorism and Copenhagen University, approached the Carlsberg Foun -
kidnappings by groups pledging allegiance to funda men - dation to obtain financial support for the project. The aim
talist Islamic movements. was to publish a substantial part of the data and make
Still, it was an outbreak of the insurgency as early as annotated catalogues of the ethnographic specimens from
1963 that brought a halt to my own research in Chad. the above-mentioned Danish expeditions, many of which
Armed conflict flared up in this country in 1963, at the very had been funded by the Foundation in the past. In 1986 the
time when my husband, Johannes Nicolaisen, and I carried Carlsberg Foundation decided to support the proposal with
out a planned first study among the nomadic Haddad and a substantial grant for a five-year period and subsequently
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18 editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview 19
the wake of which research fell by the wayside. For the Kreda peoples. The situation did not truly ameliorate in the with a further one for another five years. The Carlsberg A research project of this kind and magnitude relies on the
people there, including the nomads, the security situation ensuing years. In the early 1970s two French colleagues Foundation Nomad Research Project was born. The work diligence and creativity of the participating scholars as well
was to deteriorate further with the creation of the Islamic were taken hostage by Tubu nomads, and Johannes and I was supervised by a committee chaired by Professor Henrik as on productive collaboration with institutions and
State and the armed conflicts that followed Taliban eventually gave up plans for a continued study in Kanem. Glahn and later by Professor Henrik Christian Matthiessen, specialists in a great many fields. It is with the utmost
interference. Nor did it improve upon Operation Enduring By the early 1980s armed conflicts were widespread in the member and chairman respectively of the board of the gratitude that I think of the generosity with which every -
Freedom or subsequent military interventions by the US Sahel region and today the situation is highly precarious Carlsberg Foundation. The other members were Klaus one has invested time, ingenuity and creativity to make the
and other NATO countries. Afghan refugees, including for those nomads who still migrate with their herds, as Ferdinand, Rolf Gilberg and Ida Nicolaisen, and for a short project come through. I have not counted the numbers of
pastoral nomads, poured by the millions into neighbouring mentioned above. Research among these has become ex - time, Professor Tove Birkelund. Niels Petri and later Gunver people involved over the years; they run into the hundreds,
Pakistan and Iran upon the Soviet invasion, and they have tremely difficult, the more so as hostage taking has become Kyhn carried the secretarial burden, initially assisted by and, including the time spent by all the wonderful pastoral
done so in great numbers ever since, many ending up by big business in the region. Sven Dindler. In 1990 an editorial committee was formed peoples who offered the explorers and scholars hospitality
2015 as victims of the humanitarian crisis in Europe. with P. C. Matthiessen and Ida Nicolaisen as members. and showed endless patience in conveying information
Luristan, another focus of Danish archaeological and As a consequence of the above-mentioned political devel - In 1993, Professor Per Øhrgaard replaced P. C. Matthiessen about their way of life, then the numbers undoubtedly run
anthropological research from the 1930s, was also barred to opments, and the challenges to and transformations of and Ida Nicolaisen was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the into the thousands. Many of the contributors are properly
foreign researchers in 1979 upon the return from exile and pastoral nomadism, the long-term Danish research agenda publications. acknowledged in the individual volumes. It is for me to
coming into power of Ayatollah Khomeini and his gov - had reached a threshold by the mid-1980s. Continued It may come as a surprise to no one who has ever been extend my personal thanks first and foremost to all of my
ernment. Danish archaeologists would later resume studies in the field had become precarious in a range of in charge of a major research project that unforeseen dear colleagues who have contributed to the series. I send
re sear ch collaboration and the anthropologist Janne Bjerre pastoral societies. In practice some countries were closed problems occur and disrupt initial planning. This has also grateful thoughts to those who did not live to see their
Christensen has returned repeatedly since 1995 to do to research, such as Afghanistan and Chad, and the been the case with The Carlsberg Foundation Nomad work completed: to the late Klaus Ferdinand, who first
research in Iran. Yet, to my knowledge, none of the many numbers would grow to include Algeria, Mali and Niger. Research Project. Three scholars were unable to work on or realised the project’s potential and later followed its
Danish anthropologists have taken up studies among the The human tragedies and ‘new realities’, which set the complete their projects for personal reasons. In two progress with enthusiasm till his untimely death. I think
pastoral or former pastoral peoples. stage for the way of life of the pastoralists, forced Danish instances, colleagues stepped in, but one volume had to be also with fondness of Martha Boyer and Henny Harald
scholars to rethink their research agendas and respon - abandoned. Three dear colleagues sadly passed away prior Hansen, who both embraced the project with joy. Being an
Pastoralists migrating on the plains of West Africa and in sibilities towards the people they had worked among and to the printing or completion of their books: Klaus Fer - editor for colleagues is a sensitive undertaking, and even
the Sahara were also facing serious hardship and dif - come to care about. It was obvious that their photos, films, dinand, Martha Boyer and Henny Harald Hansen. Despite more so if they also happen to become your friends. I am
ficulties by the early 1980s, set off at first not so much by material specimen, notes and diaries attained new sig- these sad events and some bumps on the road, the project sincerely grateful that it was possible to navigate that fine
armed conflicts as by droughts, which caused famine and nifi cance as irreplaceable sources of information on the went forward, at times at a snail’s pace yet with deter - line and appreciative of the productive collaboration I have
death among the nomads and animals alike. They struck history, social and cultural life, knowledge, rituals and mination and resilience, and always with financial and had with Inge Demant Mortensen, Schuyler Jones, Birthe
first in the 1970s and returned even more severely between skills in husbandry of the pastoralists the anthropologists invaluable collegial support from the Carlsberg Foundation. Frederiksen, Asta Olesen, Gorm Pedersen, Esther Fihl and
1980 and 1985, wiping out herds in great numbers and had worked among. In this light, it seemed necessary to us It had originally been planned that the Nomad Re - Christel Braae, who all put years of dedicated research into
putting a final end to pastoralism for a great many people. that the material ought to be made available, not only for search Project would last for ten years and the results be the completion of their respective volumes. It has been
I travelled extensively throughout the region in those years researchers but also for the nomads, whose history, social published in seven books. As the work progressed, the rewarding to be on the journey with you, to discuss
to monitor programmes undertaken by the UN Sudano- and cultural life it documented, and for the countries in project turned out to be much more comprehensive and research questions, overcome problems and find optimal
Sahelian Office (UNSO) and supported by DANIDA. They which they were citizens. time-consuming than envisioned. In 1995, when the solutions for the layout and publication of your work.
were set up specifically to ameliorate the consequences of As a result, Klaus Ferdinand, then Curator of the committee of the project met for the last time to evaluate Changes did also impact the publishing of the works
the droughts and I witnessed the hunger and devastating Ethnographic Department at the Moesgaard Museum, Rolf the results, a total of six volumes had been published, two over the years. I am indebted to the late Niels Blædel of
conditions for pastoralism across the steppe of West Africa, Gilberg, then Curator at the Ethnographic Department of were underway, two of the projects required a new start, Rhodos International Science and Art Publishers, for ini -
Sudan and also Ethiopia and Somalia. Soon after the entire the Danish National Museum, and Associate Professor Ida and two new projects were on the horizon as possibly tially taking the project on board and especially thankful
region began to suffer from an increasing number of armed Nicolaisen, then at the Institute of Cultural Sociology, valuable contributions. Under these circumstances, the to Ruben Blædel for continuing the collaboration. Not only
conflicts and became afflicted by widespread terrorism and Copenhagen University, approached the Carlsberg Foun - committee decided that Ida Nicolaisen should take on the did Ruben Blædel put tremendous effort into the layout
kidnappings by groups pledging allegiance to funda men - dation to obtain financial support for the project. The aim responsibility for the completion of the vision laid out for and production of eleven of the books, his fine eye is behind
talist Islamic movements. was to publish a substantial part of the data and make the Nomad Research Project and the possible extensions of the design of all of these and many of the photographs as
Still, it was an outbreak of the insurgency as early as annotated catalogues of the ethnographic specimens from this as the Editor-in-Chief and liaison with the Carlsberg well. I thank Thames & Hudson, London and USA for
co1963 that brought a halt to my own research in Chad. the above-mentioned Danish expeditions, many of which Foundation. The latter accepted generously to continue its publishing the first ten books and University of Wash -
Armed conflict flared up in this country in 1963, at the very had been funded by the Foundation in the past. In 1986 the support, making funds available, however, only upon the ing ton Press for Exploring Central Asia I–II with Rhodos, and
time when my husband, Johannes Nicolaisen, and I carried Carlsberg Foundation decided to support the proposal with merit of applications for each of the remaining sub- finally Aarhus University Press for a productive collabor -
out a planned first study among the nomadic Haddad and a substantial grant for a five-year period and subsequently projects and publications. ation on the two last volumes. I thank Hanne Kolding for
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20 editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview
her layout of Elusive Hunters, and Mette and Eric Mourier for lems arose, and constructive ideas as how to solve them
the fine layout of this volume. I am extremely grateful to from the board of directors and secretariat of the Foun -
Niels Peder Jørgensen for the care he took in copyediting dation in a way that goes well beyond the call of duty. This
most of the manuscripts. was the case when Kristoff Glamann was the chair, just as
A considerable number of the publications include it has been with the successive chairmen, Poul Christian
catalogues of the several thousand ethnographic speci - Matthiessen, Poul Krogsgaard-Larsen and Flem ming Be -
mens from pastoral nomads now in the museum collec - sen bacher. I have also been immensely grateful for advice
tions in Denmark. It goes without saying that the research from the late Henrik Glahn and from Per Øhrgaard, both
and laborious description of these has required close former members of the board. The Carlsberg Foundation
collaboration with many curators, conservators and photo - has supported nu merous anthropological research projects
graphers at these institutions over the years. I want to for more than a century. This has enabled scholars to carry
thank them all for their unfailing support and practical out research abroad, often in remote places, and the
assistance. The project received wholehearted backing National Museum of Denmark and the Moesgaard Mu -
from all the key institutions with which it collaborated, seum to acquire collections that now are ‘jewels in their
spearheaded by the heads of these: Director Jan Skamby at crowns’ and provide the basis for international collabor -
the Moesgaard Museum and Olaf Olsen, Steen Hvass, ation with museums all over the world. My colleagues and
Carsten U. Larsen and Per Christian Madsen, the successive I have striven to live up to the vision and achieve the goals
directors of the National Museum. The project has also initially set for the Carlsberg Foundations Nomad Research
collaborated closely with the Institute of Social Anthro - Project. It has been a privilege to be part of the process and
pology, Aarhus Uni versity, the Institute of Anthropology, a joy to see its completion.
Copenhagen Uni v er sity and with a great number of mu -
seums abroad, which have all lent their expertise. I am The pastoral societies and museum collections portrayed
personally indebted to Geir Helgesen, the Director of the in the published books will hopefully be of value to schol -
Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, for giving me both office arly debate and new scientific endeavours to explore and
space and collegial support. Privately, I have been so explain a diversity of social and cultural issues cur rently on
immensely fortunate to live with Abraham Pais and later the scientific agenda. It is my greatest wish, however, that
Erling Bunch, who both found the Nomad Reseach Project these books will be of continuous value for the pastoral
interesting, offered me loving support and the ‘long leach’ peoples, whose history, social life, cultural ingenuity, envir -
necessary to do the work onmental insights, herding expertise and craftsmanship
they describe, and that they will further an understanding
It is difficult to find words to express my gratitude to the and appreciation of the unique con tri butions these people
Carlsberg Foundation. Not only did the Foundation initiate have made to the history of mankind.
and fund the Danish Nomad Research Project for ten years,
it continued its financial support for subsequent projects, Ida Nicolaisen
and for the publication of results. As the Editor-in-Chief, Editor-in-Chief
I have been met with unfailing understanding when prob - Copenhagen, April 2017
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20 editor’s preface / danish nomad research – an overview 21
her layout of Elusive Hunters, and Mette and Eric Mourier for lems arose, and constructive ideas as how to solve them Forewordthe fine layout of this volume. I am extremely grateful to from the board of directors and secretariat of the Foun -
Niels Peder Jørgensen for the care he took in copyediting dation in a way that goes well beyond the call of duty. This
most of the manuscripts. was the case when Kristoff Glamann was the chair, just as
A considerable number of the publications include it has been with the successive chairmen, Poul Christian
This is an account of the fascinating history of a collection Paris Collection, which as a part of the parent collectioncatalogues of the several thousand ethnographic speci - Matthiessen, Poul Krogsgaard-Larsen and Flem ming Be -
mens from pastoral nomads now in the museum collec - sen bacher. I have also been immensely grateful for advice of more than 3,000 ethnographic artefacts from Inner was transferred to Musée de l’Homme in Paris in 1946.
Mongolia. It is based on the reports, books and diaries of These artefacts illuminate the everyday life of the Mongoltions in Denmark. It goes without saying that the research from the late Henrik Glahn and from Per Øhrgaard, both
and laborious description of these has required close former members of the board. The Carlsberg Foundation the men who collected them for the Danish National herders, ranging from the physical environment of the
Museum in the years 1936-1939, as well as on the tents and the tending of the animals to food preparation,collaboration with many curators, conservators and photo - has supported nu merous anthropological research projects
graphers at these institutions over the years. I want to for more than a century. This has enabled scholars to carry descriptions of the objects made by the staff at the crafts, hunting, sports and religious practices related to
Ethnographic Department of the museum. All in all this health and wellbeing. Two books have previously dealt withthank them all for their unfailing support and practical out research abroad, often in remote places, and the
assistance. The project received wholehearted backing National Museum of Denmark and the Moesgaard Mu - huge quantity of material allows for new insights into the limited parts of the Haslund-Christensen collection: one
cultures of Inner Mongolia, into the history of acquisition by Henny Harald Hansen on the costumes (1950), and onefrom all the key institutions with which it collaborated, seum to acquire collections that now are ‘jewels in their
spearheaded by the heads of these: Director Jan Skamby at crowns’ and provide the basis for international collabor - of objects in the field, and into how objects were by Martha Boyer on the jewellery (1952). Both were
repubincorporated into exhibitions in the museum at the time. lished in revised editions in the present series, in 1993 andthe Moesgaard Museum and Olaf Olsen, Steen Hvass, ation with museums all over the world. My colleagues and
Carsten U. Larsen and Per Christian Madsen, the successive I have striven to live up to the vision and achieve the goals The collections were obtained and brought to Denmark 1995, respectively. The bulk of the enormous collection,
by two expeditions to Inner Mongolia. The leader and mas- however, is only now being analysed and presented, somedirectors of the National Museum. The project has also initially set for the Carlsberg Foundations Nomad Research
collaborated closely with the Institute of Social Anthro - Project. It has been a privilege to be part of the process and termind of both expeditions was the Danish professional eighty years after the items were obtained and packed to
traveller and author Henning Haslund-Christensen (1896- begin their long journey on the backs of camels and horsespology, Aarhus Uni versity, the Institute of Anthropology, a joy to see its completion.
Copenhagen Uni v er sity and with a great number of mu - 1948), whose knowledge and extensive experience of the re- and later trains or cars to reach the ports of Dairen or
gion made the expeditions a success, not only in respect to Tientsin, from where they were shipped to the Nationalseums abroad, which have all lent their expertise. I am The pastoral societies and museum collections portrayed
personally indebted to Geir Helgesen, the Director of the in the published books will hopefully be of value to schol - the quality and volume of the collected material, but also Museum of Denmark.
in the eyes of the public who considered Haslund-Chris- The subjects presented here include expedition history,Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, for giving me both office arly debate and new scientific endeavours to explore and
space and collegial support. Privately, I have been so explain a diversity of social and cultural issues cur rently on tensen “one of the last great explorers in our time” (Edel- field collecting, and Mongolian material culture, unfolded
berg & Ferdinand 1958, 257). Haslund-Christensen was also within the regional contexts of Inner Mongolia – and theimmensely fortunate to live with Abraham Pais and later the scientific agenda. It is my greatest wish, however, that
Erling Bunch, who both found the Nomad Reseach Project these books will be of continuous value for the pastoral the expeditions’ ethnographer, as well as being in charge Ethnographic Department at the National Museum in
of the sound recordings, a project, on which he had begun Copenhagen in the 1930s. Based on a wide selection ofinteresting, offered me loving support and the ‘long leach’ peoples, whose history, social life, cultural ingenuity, envir -
necessary to do the work onmental insights, herding expertise and craftsmanship in the late 1920s. The expeditions’ agenda did also include sources from the specialised academic literature to
travelarchaeological excavations and the collection of books and ogues and memories, each chapter of the catalogue is in-they describe, and that they will further an understanding
It is difficult to find words to express my gratitude to the and appreciation of the unique con tri butions these people manuscripts on history, literature, and folklore. These troduced with comprehensive information, comprising
fields were covered by philologist Kaare Grønbech (1901– traditional aspects of material culture, historical back-Carlsberg Foundation. Not only did the Foundation initiate have made to the history of mankind.
and fund the Danish Nomad Research Project for ten years, 1957) and the archaeologist Werner Jacobsen (1914–1979), grounds and relating the objects and the social lives
who participated from 1938 to 1939. of Mongolian herders. With regard to the documentationit continued its financial support for subsequent projects, Ida Nicolaisen
and for the publication of results. As the Editor-in-Chief, Editor-in-Chief The comprehensive material of the two expeditions of provenance and wider meaning of the single objects,
throws new light on the material and spiritual culture of Haslund-Christensen’s purchase books are particularlyI have been met with unfailing understanding when prob - Copenhagen, April 2017
the many different groups of Inner Mongolian herders valuable, as are his highly edifying acquisition stories,
from the northeast to the south of the region. It comprises which appear in individual articles and as narrative
elemore than 2,600 ethnographic objects, 213 sound record- ments in his travel books. To supplement the information
ings and about 1000 photographs, in addition to 3,000 ar- from the collector’s hands with regard to details on
techchaeological specimens, and 568 books and manuscripts. nology and production, literature on mongolica and Central
The collections of sound, literature and archaeology will be Asian crafts has been applied, whereas the wider social and
touched upon along the way, but the main focus of the political description of the Mongolian scene at the time is
analysis here is the ethnographic objects. In the catalogue largely based on Haslund-Christensen’s own writings
section (chapters 5–14), the collection is presented by way (when ever they are available), but supplemented by
conof a selection of 930 objects, of which 800 belong to the temporary accounts by others who recorded their own
obDanish National Museum, and the remains to the so-called servations from the same time and place, representing
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22 foreword
what the Canadian anthropologist Barbara Lawson has ports? While information on the historical circumstances
called the “collector’s social world” (1994), understood as the of collecting provides us with new knowledge of the
inhost of persons guiding, travelling or staying with him, his digenous societies, the focus on the scene of collecting may
contemporary peers at home, as well as his social back- contribute to a reconsideration of the “conventional”
relaground and learning. Some of the accounts applied here tions of asymmetry between collectors and collected into a
originate from Haslund-Christensen’s friends and close relationship of partners of intercultural interaction and
expeers, others from writers that he respected and admired, change.
while again are contemporary ethnographic texts Upon its return from the field, the collected material
from the large corpus of works by anthropologists and was included in the museum where it was ordered in
acethnographers dedicated to Mongolian studies and to cordance with the museum’s classification systems. In this
whom Haslund-Christensen represents a unique observer process the collector’s notes and classifications face the
of Mongolian affairs in his time. danger of being “overwritten” by the museum’s archival
One of the aims of this book is to document the specific system, as noted by O’Hanlon (2000, 4). I shall discuss to
conditions under which the collections took place, and how what extent this happened with the Haslund-Christensen
the members of the expedition operated in the field – in collection in Chapter 4. The museum is a powerful player,
other words to recollect the actual “scene of collecting” (cf. not only in controlling in the ordering, but also with regard
O’Hanlon 2000, 12 ff). To do so I have relied on personal ac- to the identity of a collection. So, to set things right,
O’Hancounts in diaries and letters by the expedition members, as lon suggests that the old field collections should be viewed
well as on reports and travelogues. The material has been for what they are:
located in the archives listed below, some of which are in
private possession. Equally important have been sources as assemblages, which speak both to the indigenous
socithat inform us of the specific historical, political and social eties which produced them and to the manifold cultures
conditions for the enterprise of collecting in Inner Mongo- which collected them, labelled them, stored them and
exlia in the 1920s and 1930s. The same goes for the many in- hibited them then and now (2001, 214-215).
stitutions in Denmark which promoted and supported the
idea. Seminal works on historical explorations and field
collectTowards the turn of the millennium, anthropological ing giving special attention to the early Western
expediwritings on old collections and their collectors held in tions and explorers in Africa appeared around the same
Western museums have increasingly attracted scholarly time in works such as Schildkrout & Keim (1998) and Fabian
interest, and a wide variety of studies have been published (2000), all exposing the significance of travelogues and
dion their nature and meaning, and on the analytical and aries as sources of the highly mixed business of exploration
methodological ways of approaching old material (cf. as adventure, imperial politics and the transmittance of
Fabian 2000; O’Hanlon and Welsch 2000; O’Hanlon 2001; knowledge. In Denmark significant contributions to the
Shelton 2001; Fabian 2004; Lawson 1994). The British an- study of exploring – as well as writing and collecting in the
thropologist O’Hanlon points to the need for a sequential field – came with Esther Fihl’s work on late
nineteenthmodel of reconstruction of the phases of “the before, during century exploration and collecting in Central Asia,
puband after collecting” (2000, 9), particularly stressing the lished in this series in 2002. This trend was extended with
need for documentation of the scene of collecting, where Kirsten Hastrup’s study of the Danish Arctic explorer and
issues of agency between the collectors and the indigenous scientific traveller Knud Rasmussen in 2010, and with Ida
peoples can be retrieved, asking: how did the latter in- Nicolaisen’s account of her and Johannes Nicolaisen’s
colfluence the agendas of the collector, and did collecting it- lecting among the Haddad in Chad in 1963, likewise
pubself promote a business locally suited to accommodate the lished in this series in 2010. An important work on the
needs of the many other collectors travelling the same history of fieldwork and expeditions came from Kristian H.
paths, either before or after? Did the interactions with the Nielsen, Michael Harbsmeier and Christopher J. Ries in
natives bring about new insights and knowledge in regard 2012, with multiple cross-disciplinary contributions.
to the objects collected and their indigenous owners and In her work Esther Fihl defines the position as that of
users, and if so, how is this reflected in the collectors’ re- “observer of the observers”, letting the diaries of the
expeContents
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22 foreword foreword 23
what the Canadian anthropologist Barbara Lawson has ports? While information on the historical circumstances dition members become the reader’s guide to the new sights and interests, as were the plans for the processing of
called the “collector’s social world” (1994), understood as the of collecting provides us with new knowledge of the in- worlds they entered. So she emphasizes that the transmis- the material afterwards. According to the German scholar
host of persons guiding, travelling or staying with him, his digenous societies, the focus on the scene of collecting may sion of the image of Central Asia to the receivers back Walther Heissig, earlier expeditions to the region had
colcontemporary peers at home, as well as his social back- contribute to a reconsideration of the “conventional” rela- home, in spite of the contexts of “objective truths” that car- lected randomly, and not following any predesigned plan.
ground and learning. Some of the accounts applied here tions of asymmetry between collectors and collected into a ried their assignments, was also a very personal affair. Jo- Consequently, Heissig says,
originate from Haslund-Christensen’s friends and close relationship of partners of intercultural interaction and ex- hannes Fabian (2000) focuses on the production of
peers, others from writers that he respected and admired, change. ethnographic knowledge and how this was constituted in with the Danish Expedition, we saw for the first time a
dewhile others again are contemporary ethnographic texts Upon its return from the field, the collected material the field. In his examination of field diaries and travelogues termined collection operation, which should collect
whatfrom the large corpus of works by anthropologists and was included in the museum where it was ordered in ac- by early German explorers to Central Africa, Fabian takes ever could be discovered of Mongolian culture, language,
ethnographers dedicated to Mongolian studies and to cordance with the museum’s classification systems. In this us back to when ethnography was established as a disci- and literature, and rescue it from lack of understanding,
whom Haslund-Christensen represents a unique observer process the collector’s notes and classifications face the pline – or rather to some of its winding paths – as well as scorn and political unrest. (Heissig 1964, 105–106)
of Mongolian affairs in his time. danger of being “overwritten” by the museum’s archival to his idea of “loss of control” or “being out of one’s mind”
One of the aims of this book is to document the specific system, as noted by O’Hanlon (2000, 4). I shall discuss to (2000, 277–278). This strange concept can be understood as Michael Harbsmeier, who has examined the distinctive
conditions under which the collections took place, and how what extent this happened with the Haslund-Christensen a stepping out of oneself, in this case stepping out of the characteristics of scientific travel in the eighteenth
centhe members of the expedition operated in the field – in collection in Chapter 4. The museum is a powerful player, role of the conventional explorer in order to become one tury, states that the motivation and goal of those who
forother words to recollect the actual “scene of collecting” (cf. not only in controlling in the ordering, but also with regard with, or on level with, the indigenous others. Regardless of mulate the objectives are crucial for designing an
O’Hanlon 2000, 12 ff). To do so I have relied on personal ac- to the identity of a collection. So, to set things right, O’Han- whether trade or ritual performances mediated the meet- expedition as such, as are the renown of the institutions
counts in diaries and letters by the expedition members, as lon suggests that the old field collections should be viewed ings between explorers and natives, as was the case with that send out the expeditions, and their funding (2005, 13).
well as on reports and travelogues. The material has been for what they are: Fabian’s explorers, the suspending or countering of the so- The Second Danish Central Asian expedition was backed by
located in the archives listed below, some of which are in cial or psychological barriers between the two parties sponsors from scientific foundations, such as the Carlsberg
private possession. Equally important have been sources as assemblages, which speak both to the indigenous soci- opened up for other kinds of insights than those offered by Foundation, The Royal Danish Geographical Society and
that inform us of the specific historical, political and social eties which produced them and to the manifold cultures traditional and measurable explorer stuff. Such barriers the Danish State, and impartial to diplomatic, political and
conditions for the enterprise of collecting in Inner Mongo- which collected them, labelled them, stored them and ex- were not felt by Haslund-Christensen, except maybe in his commercial interests; hence it can be said to be largely
scilia in the 1920s and 1930s. The same goes for the many in- hibited them then and now (2001, 214-215). very early years in Mongolia, when he still struggled with entific. Still, it is difficult to completely exclude the role of
stitutions in Denmark which promoted and supported the the Mongolian language. Although Fabian’s early explorers stately or institutional prestige, and the ensuing degrees
idea. Seminal works on historical explorations and field collect- in Africa are remote in time and space, and their endeav- of dependency, according to Harbsmeier (ibid., 14–15).
Towards the turn of the millennium, anthropological ing giving special attention to the early Western expedi- ours staged in the context of imperial expansionism, his My work on the collections took place at the
Ethnowritings on old collections and their collectors held in tions and explorers in Africa appeared around the same study of their travelogues addresses the social, political and graphic Department of the National Museum in
CopenWestern museums have increasingly attracted scholarly time in works such as Schildkrout & Keim (1998) and Fabian professional conditions for scientific travel in a model hagen, where the main part of the archival material is
interest, and a wide variety of studies have been published (2000), all exposing the significance of travelogues and di- form, which is recognizable in the undertakings of our ex- located, and in the department’s storage areas in Brede,
on their nature and meaning, and on the analytical and aries as sources of the highly mixed business of exploration pedition party in 1930s Mongolia. An important exception north of the city, where the collections are kept. Initially,
methodological ways of approaching old material (cf. as adventure, imperial politics and the transmittance of is the fact that the Danish expedition to Inner Mongolia the study took me on a journey to Mongolia in 1997, where
Fabian 2000; O’Hanlon and Welsch 2000; O’Hanlon 2001; knowledge. In Denmark significant contributions to the half a century later was launched in a non-colonial and I attended a conference on Mongolian Studies in
UlaanShelton 2001; Fabian 2004; Lawson 1994). The British an- study of exploring – as well as writing and collecting in the non-imperialist context (Christiansen 2005, 65–66). Owing baatar. During this stay I took the opportunity to visit the
thropologist O’Hanlon points to the need for a sequential field – came with Esther Fihl’s work on late nineteenth- to the very critical political situation in northern China city’s many museums, particularly the National Museum
model of reconstruction of the phases of “the before, during century exploration and collecting in Central Asia, pub- with civil war and Japanese occupation, the participants of Mongolian History (today’s National Museum of
Monand after collecting” (2000, 9), particularly stressing the lished in this series in 2002. This trend was extended with consciously defined their work in terms of what they and golia), where the country’s eminent ethnographic
collecneed for documentation of the scene of collecting, where Kirsten Hastrup’s study of the Danish Arctic explorer and their supporters in Denmark and Inner Mongolia saw as a tions are found. The stay concluded with three weeks of
issues of agency between the collectors and the indigenous scientific traveller Knud Rasmussen in 2010, and with Ida “rescue mission” of material and immaterial cultural ob- travelling around the countryside, in the eastern province
peoples can be retrieved, asking: how did the latter in- Nicolaisen’s account of her and Johannes Nicolaisen’s col- jects, which due to the hostilities might otherwise be lost of Hentii, and in the provinces of Töv and Övörhangai,
fluence the agendas of the collector, and did collecting it- lecting among the Haddad in Chad in 1963, likewise pub- for ever. These were the objectives of both expeditions, but south and southwest of the capital. Despite my limited
self promote a business locally suited to accommodate the lished in this series in 2010. An important work on the whereas the first expedition in the years 1936–1937 was knowledge of Mongolian herders and their lives at the
needs of the many other collectors travelling the same history of fieldwork and expeditions came from Kristian H. largely a reconnaissance expedition, aimed at preparing time, and the equally partial information I was able to
obpaths, either before or after? Did the interactions with the Nielsen, Michael Harbsmeier and Christopher J. Ries in and clearing the way for the ensuing large-scale undertak- tain due to obvious language barriers and so on, the trip
natives bring about new insights and knowledge in regard 2012, with multiple cross-disciplinary contributions. ing in 1938–1939, it is the latter which qualifies as scientific was an amazing experience with long-lasting effects on
to the objects collected and their indigenous owners and In her work Esther Fihl defines the position as that of in the true meaning of the term. Explicit scientific aims the studies to come. Well-known to all ethnographers,
viusers, and if so, how is this reflected in the collectors’ re- “observer of the observers”, letting the diaries of the expe- were carefully planned beforehand, based on scholarly in- sual impressions should never be underestimated. Later on
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24 foreword
the work took me twice to the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, nally, Haslund-Christensen’s son, former chamberlain to
to which parts of the Haslund-Christensen collection were HM the Queen of Denmark, Søren Haslund-Christensen
transferred in 1946. On the initiative of O. H. Bærentzen, and family have generously put at my disposal his father’s
the former Danish Consul in Nice, Haslund-Christensen personal papers including Haslund-Christensen’s letters to
extended his collections during both expeditions with ob- his wife, Inga Marit Lindstrøm, during the two expeditions.
jects for the Musée de l’Homme, for which financial means These letters, which have reached me late in the
rewere put at his disposal by Consul Bærentzen. The Paris search process, offer a unique source of
Haslund-ChrisCollection was located at the Département d’Asie at the tensen’s perspectives on his travels and collecting, and also
Musée de l’Homme, where I was hospitably received in 1998 of the style and tone of voice in which he communicated.
and again in 2003. In 2004 the collections were transferred The letters are written as a diary, addressed to his wife and
to the new ethnographic museum in Paris, Le Musée du hence as a personal communication to a close and beloved
Quai Branly. person. Not everything in the letters was meant for
everyArchival studies were first and foremost carried out at one’s ear. Private issues are consequently dealt with
confithe Ethnographic Department’s archive of records and doc- dently, as is also the case with Kaare Grønbech’s diary to his
1uments, especially the expedition report archive, ESBA. wife Elsebeth Grønbech and Werner Jacobsen’s letters to
The latter contains well over 2,500 single documents of his family. In contrast to the former, Jacobsen’s are
bills, letters, reports, purchase books, lists (of all kinds), addressed to several persons, and were meant to be read by
books, pamphlets, unpublished manuscripts, newspaper family and friends. All in all these documents bring us
clippings, diaries, maps, sketches, etc., typed and handwrit- close, in fact right into the midst of the life of the
expediten. Most of the material has been in the archives since the tion members, and with their literary qualities, wit and
hutime of the expeditions, but some was transferred from the mour, the letters and diaries contribute to an under -
former Institute of Central Asia at Copenhagen University standing of the moods and sentiments of the members
in 1988, among other things a collection of Haslund-Chris- along the way. In my use of personal letters I have selected
tensen’s notes, presumably produced after his homecom- aspects relevant to the expedition, and for the same
reaing in 1939. These were in his private possession until his sons, I have chosen not to include letters from their wives
death in 1948, at which point Kaare Grønbech saw to it that and family members. My ambition was never to offer
perthe material was secured; along with parts of Haslund- sonal portraits, but obviously, there is a grey zone: to make
Christensen’s private book collection, it was transferred to sense of Haslund-Christensen’s intentions and follow in
the Central Asian Laboratory at Copenhagen University, his footsteps, and to reason with his texts, letters and
2where Grønbech resided. In 1988 the archive received notes, the judgements, style and character of our
protagoKaare Grønbech’s handwritten diary from their joint so- nist invariably must play a role.
journ in Mongolia in 1938-1939, which provides
documentation of the expedition’s daily life, collecting and the
Note on Transliteration and Translation
political scramble, and as such it is an excellent source of a
day-to-day account of the second expedition. Additional Mongolian words are written according to the spelling
material from the Central Asian Laboratory was retrieved used by the actual sources applied in the text, which means
in 2006 from the Carsten Niebuhr Section at the Institute that the same word may appear in different spellings
of Cross-Cultural Studies at Copenhagen University, where within one paragraph. Some of the spellings may be more
it had lingered in the Turkish section and beyond, and after comprehensible to a Danish-speaking reader than to an
various transfers ended up in the basement under the for- English or Mongolian speaker. According to Christopher P.
mer university building in Amager. Both in regard to the Atwood, the diversity of spellings is related to the fact that
history of the expeditions and Haslund-Christensen’s pro- accounts of Mongolia have been told “exclusively in
Eurofessional career, supplementary documents were found in pean languages, almost entirely by non-Mongols, and
the Danish National Archives, the Sven Hedin Foundation largely on the basis of non-Mongolian sources” (1999, xviii).
in Stockholm, the Carlsberg Foundation Archives, and at As an object of intense cosmopolitan interests over the
expedition archives at Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus. Fi- years, Mongolia, its history and culture have been described
Contents
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24 foreword foreword 25
the work took me twice to the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, nally, Haslund-Christensen’s son, former chamberlain to in numerous languages and consequently there are many language. Which of the two systems you prefer is dependent
on your personal judgement in every case. Sometimes theto which parts of the Haslund-Christensen collection were HM the Queen of Denmark, Søren Haslund-Christensen varied spellings from English, German, French, Hungarian,
transferred in 1946. On the initiative of O. H. Bærentzen, and family have generously put at my disposal his father’s Fin nish, Russian, Swedish, Danish, etc. result is the same, but often the modern pronunciation is
so distant from the written form that for practical reasons,the former Danish Consul in Nice, Haslund-Christensen personal papers including Haslund-Christensen’s letters to Place names and names of historical persons are
extended his collections during both expeditions with ob- his wife, Inga Marit Lindstrøm, during the two expeditions. spelled according to common use and English orthography it is apt to use the spoken form. Besides, in the written form,
certain letters are read differently in Outer and Inner Mon-jects for the Musée de l’Homme, for which financial means These letters, which have reached me late in the re- such as Ulaanbaatar, Ghinggis Khan, Lhasa, Sinkiang and
were put at his disposal by Consul Bærentzen. The Paris search process, offer a unique source of Haslund-Chris- Xinjiang, etc. As is well known to anyone working with golia: e.g. the written form küriye (monastery) becomes khure
(with the ’kh’ pronounced as a strong h-sound, and a longCollection was located at the Département d’Asie at the tensen’s perspectives on his travels and collecting, and also Inner Asia, place names appear over time in both Chinese
Musée de l’Homme, where I was hospitably received in 1998 of the style and tone of voice in which he communicated. and Mongolian and reflect the changing political powers ‘e’) among Mongols from the south and among most
Khalkh, whereas the Torguts and the western Khalkh tribesand again in 2003. In 2004 the collections were transferred The letters are written as a diary, addressed to his wife and and their respective languages. The Chinese city on the
to the new ethnographic museum in Paris, Le Musée du hence as a personal communication to a close and beloved border of Inner Mongolia, Kalgan (from haalgaa, “the gate” say kure.
Quai Branly. person. Not everything in the letters was meant for every- in Manchu and Mongolian) or Zhangjiakou (“Zang family
Archival studies were first and foremost carried out at one’s ear. Private issues are consequently dealt with confi- gate” in Chinese), is a case in point. Likewise the capital of The method applied by Haslund-Christensen was to write
down the words as he perceived them in the local pronun-the Ethnographic Department’s archive of records and doc- dently, as is also the case with Kaare Grønbech’s diary to his Inner Mongolia: founded by Altan Khan in the late
six1uments, especially the expedition report archive, ESBA. wife Elsebeth Grønbech and Werner Jacobsen’s letters to teenth century as Köke Kote (or Qota), “The Blue City”, it ciation. He spoke Mongolian fluently, including various
dialects, but never acquired the skills to write and read theThe latter contains well over 2,500 single documents of his family. In contrast to the former, Jacobsen’s letters are was later spelt Kuku Koto or Khukho Khoto, as I spell it in
bills, letters, reports, purchase books, lists (of all kinds), addressed to several persons, and were meant to be read by the book. Its former Chinese name was Kuei-hua-ch’eng, language. His rendering of Mongolian words in his
purchase book e.g. is consequently phonetic, based on Danishbooks, pamphlets, unpublished manuscripts, newspaper family and friends. All in all these documents bring us “City of the Return of Civilization” – i.e. the Chinese
civiclippings, diaries, maps, sketches, etc., typed and handwrit- close, in fact right into the midst of the life of the expedi- lization (cf. Kara, 2005). This term was often used by the or Swedish sounds, but often supplemented with the
written Mongolian word, made by one of his assistants. Georgten. Most of the material has been in the archives since the tion members, and with their literary qualities, wit and hu- Danish expedition members; they also used the Chinese
time of the expeditions, but some was transferred from the mour, the letters and diaries contribute to an under - term Suiyuan (“the new city”), which really designated the Söderbom, on the other hand, mastered Mongolian and
Chinese in both speaking and writing and supplied his col-former Institute of Central Asia at Copenhagen University standing of the moods and sentiments of the members province from 1930-1937. Baptized Meinjiang (Mongolian)
in 1988, among other things a collection of Haslund-Chris- along the way. In my use of personal letters I have selected and Meriko (Japanese) during the Japanese occupation lector’s notes with the spoken and written form of the
object’s name. In the current text I have followed the practicetensen’s notes, presumably produced after his homecom- aspects relevant to the expedition, and for the same rea- from 1937-1945, the city afterwards returned to its old
ing in 1939. These were in his private possession until his sons, I have chosen not to include letters from their wives name, spelt Hohhot or Huhehot and the meaning of “The of all my protagonists, and in the rendering of city- and
place names leaned on Grønbech’s recommendations. death in 1948, at which point Kaare Grønbech saw to it that and family members. My ambition was never to offer per- Blue City” as capital of Nei Mongol, The Inner Mongolian
the material was secured; along with parts of Haslund- sonal portraits, but obviously, there is a grey zone: to make Autonomous Region of China. All Danish texts and documents, published or
unpublished, have been translated into English by me, likewiseChristensen’s private book collection, it was transferred to sense of Haslund-Christensen’s intentions and follow in With regard to the variant ways of spelling of
Mongothe Central Asian Laboratory at Copenhagen University, his footsteps, and to reason with his texts, letters and lian words, place names included, it is fruitful to quote a the translation into English of published texts from French
2 and German. In both cases I have been aided by my lan-where Grønbech resided. In 1988 the archive received notes, the judgements, style and character of our protago- lengthy note from a document by the expedition’s
philoloKaare Grønbech’s handwritten diary from their joint so- nist invariably must play a role. gist Kaare Grønbech: “On the principles of transcription of guage revisers, but take full responsibility for any flaws. All
quotations from Haslund-Christensen’s books stem fromjourn in Mongolia in 1938-1939, which provides documen- Mongolian place names to the Latin alphabet”:
tation of the expedition’s daily life, collecting and the the Danish editions.
Note on Transliteration and Translation
political scramble, and as such it is an excellent source of a In the spelling of Mongolian words, two different principles
day-to-day account of the second expedition. Additional Mongolian words are written according to the spelling can be chosen: 1) you can spell the word after the local Mon- Christel Braae
Copenhagen, April 2017material from the Central Asian Laboratory was retrieved used by the actual sources applied in the text, which means gols’ pronunciations or 2) according to the applied written
in 2006 from the Carsten Niebuhr Section at the Institute that the same word may appear in different spellings
of Cross-Cultural Studies at Copenhagen University, where within one paragraph. Some of the spellings may be more
it had lingered in the Turkish section and beyond, and after comprehensible to a Danish-speaking reader than to an
various transfers ended up in the basement under the for- English or Mongolian speaker. According to Christopher P.
mer university building in Amager. Both in regard to the Atwood, the diversity of spellings is related to the fact that
history of the expeditions and Haslund-Christensen’s pro- accounts of Mongolia have been told “exclusively in
Eurofessional career, supplementary documents were found in pean languages, almost entirely by non-Mongols, and
the Danish National Archives, the Sven Hedin Foundation largely on the basis of non-Mongolian sources” (1999, xviii). notes
2. The book collection was re-catalogued in 2005 and shelved in the
in Stockholm, the Carlsberg Foundation Archives, and at As an object of intense cosmopolitan interests over the
1. The archive is labelled in Danish: Etnografisk Samlings Beretningsarkiv, Turkish section of the Carsten Niebuhr Section’s library in the Institute
expedition archives at Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus. Fi- years, Mongolia, its history and culture have been described consequently ESBA. of Cross-Cultural Studies at Copenhagen University.
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26
Acknowledgements
My work with the Mongolian collections took place at the initial help and assistance in the description of the riding
Ethnographic Department at the National Museum of accoutrements for horses and camels. To track the so-called
Denmark and was initially secured with a three-year grant Paris Collection, the part of Haslund-Christensen’s
collecfrom the Carlsberg Foundation, for which I am deeply tion that was transferred to the Musée de l’Homme in 1946,
grate ful. I am indebted to Senior Researcher and Editor-in- I went to Paris twice and was kindly received at the
Chief of The Carlsberg Foundation’s Nomad Research Project, Ida museum by Director Bernard Dupaigne and by Head of the
Nicolaisen, and to the late Klaus Ferdinand (1926–2005), Département d’Asie Christine Hemmet, who gave me free
Head of Collections at Moesgaard Museum, for approach- access to the collections and the relevant archive.
ing me with the enticing proposal to redirect my attention Initial encouragement and valuable advice on
literato Mongolia and Inner Asia – after many years’ work on the ture was given by scholars Dr David Sneath, and Professor
Middle East, the very region that I had had the privilege of Dr Veronika Veit. I also received splendid suggestions of
studying with Klaus Ferdinand since the 1970s. valuable references from Professor Dr Yuki Konagaya of the
I extend my grateful thanks to the Ethnographic De- National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka.
partment for housing me and the project, and for the From my travels in Mongolia in 1997, I am indebted to
unfailing support of the Heads of the Department Torben President of the Mongolian-Danish Society, Tunga Najma,
Lund bæk, Espen Wähle, Ulf Johansson Dahre, Karin Ty - and her late husband Sh. Tsog for their great hospitality
bjerg, and Christian Sune Pedersen, the present Head of and the perfect organisation of my memorable journey to
Research and Collection of the Department, which today is the Hentii Aimag in August 1997. I would also like to extend
named Modern History and World Cultures – and of Head my thanks to Dr Morris Rossabi, Senior Scholar and
Adof Collections Bobo Charlotte Magid Krabbe. Likewise I junct Pro fessor at Columbia University, whose kind interest
thank Per Kristian Madsen, former Head of Research at the in my project goes back to our first meeting in Ulaanbaatar
National Museum, and later Director, for his support of the in 1997.
Mongolian research project. This work could not have been accomplished without
I could not have completed this project without the the enduring support of many anthropologists: Anie
Monsteady encouragement I received from my dear colleagues. tigny, Esther Fihl, Ida Nicolaisen, Inge Damm, Inger Sjør -
I am espe cially indebted to Senior Researcher Rolf Gilberg slev, Michael Harbsmeier, Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen,
for his thorough guidance among the Mongolian collec- Rannveig Reu mert Lárusdóttir, Trine Brox; anthropologists
tions and for his continued help in the preparations for this specialising in the Mongolian field, Andreas Dalsgaard,
publication and to Senior Researcher Joan Hornby for help- Ann Fenger Ben well, Benedikte Møller Kristensen, Håkan
ing me out on Chinese issues. I am likewise thankful for Wahlquist, Lars Højer, Morten Axel Pedersen; my
colthe never-failing support of librarians Bodil Valentiner and leagues at the Moesgaard Museum and archives, Sophie
Jesper Kurt-Nielsen. I offer my thanks to my former col- Hooge Seebach, Svend Ca stenfeldt and Ulrik Høj Johnsen;
league, musicologist Annette Erler, for her valuable co - the Danish-Mongolian Society and its dedicated members
operation in the archives of the collection. and, last but not least the Society of Central Asia, whose
My work with the artefacts took place at the National first chairman Per Fischer I remember with gratitude.
Museum’s storage area in Brede, where I was received with For helping me with issues relating to Mongolian felt
professional excellence by former Head of the Ethnograph - objects, I forward my thanks to artist Martien van Zuilen.
ic storage facilities, Ingegerd Marxen, and by the present Later, I was fortunate to collect the wisdom of Professor Dr
manager Anne-Kathrine Kjerulff and her dedicated staff, Tangad Danaajav one afternoon at the Ethnographic
DeAnja Blok Jespersen and Suzan Mefail, who have supported partment, where he patiently explained the intricate
patmy studies with unfailing patience and encouragement. terns of felt and their meaning.
Furthermore, I am thankful to Gudrun Lefmann for her For the arduous task of translating classical Mongolian,
Contents
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26 acknowledgements 27
I am truly indebted to the following scholars: Professor Dr partment and Modern History and World Cultures. TheyAcknowledgements Y. Sarengerile, ethnologist Erdenechimeg Minjuurdorj, Dr are furnished in the captions with the name of the
photogVeronika Kapišovská, Dr Daniel Berounsky, and Dr Isabelle rapher, whenever it is known. The archive also includes
Charleux. collections of prints by Swedish missionary Joel Eriksson,
The objects were photographed by the National Mu- and by Haslund’s co-members of the Sino-Swedish
ExpeMy work with the Mongolian collections took place at the initial help and assistance in the description of the riding seum’s photographer Roberto Fortuna in a most wonderful dition Gösta Montell, Folke Bergman, and some by Paul
Ethnographic Department at the National Museum of accoutrements for horses and camels. To track the so-called atmosphere with the help of his assistants, Lise Johansen Lieberentz, the official photographer of the Sino-Swedish
Denmark and was initially secured with a three-year grant Paris Collection, the part of Haslund-Christensen’s collec- and Jenny Sundby. For reading drafts of the manuscript at Expedition. The original matches of these prints have not
from the Carlsberg Foundation, for which I am deeply tion that was transferred to the Musée de l’Homme in 1946, various phases, I am grateful to Inge Damm and to Inger been found in the archives in Stockholm, and,
consegrate ful. I am indebted to Senior Researcher and Editor-in- I went to Paris twice and was kindly received at the Sjørslev, from whom I received many valuable suggestions. quently, they are ascribed here to the Ethnographic
DepartChief of The Carlsberg Foundation’s Nomad Research Project, Ida m useum by Director Bernard Dupaigne and by Head of the It is, however, Editor-in-Chief Ida Nicolaisen to whom I am ment’s photo archive. From the correspondence between
Nicolaisen, and to the late Klaus Ferdinand (1926–2005), Département d’Asie Christine Hemmet, who gave me free most deeply obligated: her thorough readings and always the members and Haslund after the expedition, it appears
Head of Collections at Moesgaard Museum, for approach- access to the collections and the relevant archive. comprehensive view of contents and form improved the that exchanges of photos were common. This sometimes
ing me with the enticing proposal to redirect my attention Initial encouragement and valuable advice on litera- manuscript while her continuous encouragement helped contributes to some confusion with regard to provenance
to Mongolia and Inner Asia – after many years’ work on the ture was given by scholars Dr David Sneath, and Professor me steer the project home. I cannot thank her enough. of the photos, as records were rarely made.
Middle East, the very region that I had had the privilege of Dr Veronika Veit. I also received splendid suggestions of Language revision was conducted by James Manley, James Photos were kindly lent to me by a number of
institustudying with Klaus Ferdinand since the 1970s. valuable references from Professor Dr Yuki Konagaya of the Bulman-May, and finally Mia Gaudern. I thank my col- tions and private persons. First and foremost I am indebted
I extend my grateful thanks to the Ethnographic De- National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka. league Bente Gundestrup for meticulously copyediting the to the guardian of the Sven Hedin Foundation & Photo
partment for housing me and the project, and for the From my travels in Mongolia in 1997, I am indebted to full text. All flaws hereafter are mine. Eric and Mette Arch ive at the SMVK (The Swedish National Museums of
unfailing support of the Heads of the Department Torben President of the Mongolian-Danish Society, Tunga Najma, Mourier did the graphic design and I express my deepest World Culture), Senior Researcher Håkan Wahlquist, and
Lund bæk, Espen Wähle, Ulf Johansson Dahre, Karin Ty - and her late husband Sh. Tsog for their great hospitality gratitude for their welcoming reception of me, and their photo archivist Ann Olsén, who did their utmost to help
bjerg, and Christian Sune Pedersen, the present Head of and the perfect organisation of my memorable journey to guidance and expertise. I thank Poul Lauritsen of Na ra yana identify and retrieve the important photos from Sven
Research and Collection of the Department, which today is the Hentii Aimag in August 1997. I would also like to extend Press for his steady navigation through the production of Hedin’s Sino-Swedish expedition. I particularly thank
named Modern History and World Cultures – and of Head my thanks to Dr Morris Rossabi, Senior Scholar and Ad- the book, and Sanne Lind Hansen, my editor at the Aarhus Håkan Wahlquist, former curator of the Central Asian
colof Collections Bobo Charlotte Magid Krabbe. Likewise I junct Pro fessor at Columbia University, whose kind interest University Press, for her similarly helpful guidance. I thank lections at the SMVK, whose brilliant authority in these
thank Per Kristian Madsen, former Head of Research at the in my project goes back to our first meeting in Ulaanbaatar Gunvor Helene Platou for making the indexes. Fi nal ly, I matters has been a significant and most appreciated help.
National Museum, and later Director, for his support of the in 1997. thank the Carlsberg Foundation for their financial support I am likewise grateful for the assistance I received from the
Mongolian research project. This work could not have been accomplished without of this book. Moesgaard Museum and Archives from Sophie Hooge
SeeI could not have completed this project without the the enduring support of many anthropologists: Anie Mon- Without the love and understanding of my family, my bach and Ulrik Høj John sen. The Danish-Mongolian Society
steady encouragement I received from my dear colleagues. tigny, Esther Fihl, Ida Nicolaisen, Inge Damm, Inger Sjør - husband Thomas Haugaard and my children Anna and Carl kindly put at my disposal a digital copy of the photos by
I am espe cially indebted to Senior Researcher Rolf Gilberg slev, Michael Harbsmeier, Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen, Christian and their spouses, this work would not have been Lena Tidemand, which are otherwise in the possession of
for his thorough guidance among the Mongolian collec- Rannveig Reu mert Lárusdóttir, Trine Brox; anthropologists completed. Last, but not least, I wish to thank the Haslund- the Tidemand family. For identifying the names of
geotions and for his continued help in the preparations for this specialising in the Mongolian field, Andreas Dalsgaard, Christensen family, particularly Marianne and Søren, for graphical places and temples in the photos by Carl Krebs,
publication and to Senior Researcher Joan Hornby for help- Ann Fenger Ben well, Benedikte Møller Kristensen, Håkan their hospitality and care. It is, however, Søren Haslund- Lena Tidemand, and K. A. Albertsen, I am indebted to Sue
ing me out on Chinese issues. I am likewise thankful for Wahlquist, Lars Højer, Morten Axel Pedersen; my col- Christensen to whom I am most deeply obliged, as he ap- Byrne and the DOMM (Documentation of Mongolian
the never-failing support of librarians Bodil Valentiner and leagues at the Moesgaard Museum and archives, Sophie proached me at a time when I was at an impasse with the Monasteries), to Isabelle Charleux, and to Uradyn Bulag. I
Jesper Kurt-Nielsen. I offer my thanks to my former col- Hooge Seebach, Svend Ca stenfeldt and Ulrik Høj Johnsen; manuscript. Søren offered me access to his father’s per- am further obliged to the guardian of the Inga Aistrup
league, musicologist Annette Erler, for her valuable co - the Danish-Mongolian Society and its dedicated members sonal papers, including the correspondence between Hen- Archive, Peter Lind, for letting me use photos taken by his
operation in the archives of the collection. and, last but not least the Society of Central Asia, whose ning Haslund-Christensen and his wife Mammie during mother, Inga Aistrup. I extend my grateful thanks to Rolf
My work with the artefacts took place at the National first chairman Per Fischer I remember with gratitude. his expeditions, which gave me the necessary spark of in- Gilberg for letting me use his private photos from the
Museum’s storage area in Brede, where I was received with For helping me with issues relating to Mongolian felt spiration to resume the work. Therefore this book is dedi- naadam festival in Hentii in 1997, and to the
Haslund-Chrisprofessional excellence by former Head of the Ethnograph - objects, I forward my thanks to artist Martien van Zuilen. cated to Søren. tensen family for putting at my disposal series of family
ic storage facilities, Ingegerd Marxen, and by the present Later, I was fortunate to collect the wisdom of Professor Dr photos retrieved from the many boxes of the family’s
manager Anne-Kathrine Kjerulff and her dedicated staff, Tangad Danaajav one afternoon at the Ethnographic De- personal papers, thanks to Charlotte and Michael. Finally,
The Archival Photographs
Anja Blok Jespersen and Suzan Mefail, who have supported partment, where he patiently explained the intricate pat- I thank the family for giving their permission for two
my studies with unfailing patience and encouragement. terns of felt and their meaning. The majority of the black-and-white photographs in the paintings by Lodai lama to be photo graphed by Roberto
Furthermore, I am thankful to Gudrun Lefmann for her For the arduous task of translating classical Mongolian, book come from the photo archive of the Ethnographic De- Fortuna for the present book.
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29
Chapter 1 Henning Haslund-Christensen:
Explorer, Collector and Writer
In May 1936 the forty year old Lieutenant Henning Has - similar quality as the Arctic material obtained by Knud
lund-Christensen turned up at the doorstep of the office of Rasmussen and for which the museum was duly revered
Thomas Thomsen, Head of the Ethnographic Department by the international scientific community. So when Has -
at the National Museum of Denmark and presented his lund-Christensen proposed his plans in May 1936, Thomas
plans for an expedition to Mongolia. At this point in time Thomsen was interested and soon able to find support for
Haslund-Christensen was already a seasoned explorer and a journey which would bring important additions to the
respected author of popular travel books. The two men had museum’s limited Mongolian material. Who then is the
met seven years earlier, when Haslund-Christensen’s man who approached Thomas Thomsen in 1936, what was
dreams of going to Mongolia had been discussed. The pres- his background, and how did he convince Thomsen of his
2ent meeting appeared to be convenient for both men, as in plans? Let me introduce this “gallant Dane”.
the meantime, the plans for an extended ethnographic Henning Haslund-Christensen (Haslund hereafter)
museum had been successfully launched by Thomsen and was born on 31 August 1896 in Copenhagen as son of
Clauhis staff. dia Haslund and Søren Christensen, a musician in the
In 1921 the Ethnographic Department had regained its Royal Orchestra – from whom he presumably got his know -
status as a separate department after a shadow existence ledge and love of music. He entered the military and was
for many years as part of the Department of Prehistory. appointed Lieutenant of the Danish Royal Guards in 1918.
Three years later Thomas Thomsen became the leader and Besides riding, which was compulsory for an officer in
the museum became a hub of ethnographic and anthropo- those days, the army supplied good general education,
logical activity. To make room for the thousands of arte- above all a solid knowledge of topography, which served
facts coming in from expeditions and travellers to Green- him well on his many travels and expeditions. As a cadet
land, Central Asia, and North Africa, and especially from at Kronborg Castle he became acquainted with the
charisKnud Rasmussen’s Fifth Thule expedition 1921-1924, which matic officer and physician Carl Immanuel Krebs
(1889brought back specimens from every single Inuit group in 1971) who was planning to go to Uriankhai in Mongolia to
the Canadian Arctic, plans for a new building were set in establish a farm and a station for fur trade. Among the
motion. On the initiative of prominent Danish personali- many volunteers, who wanted to go, Haslund was
immeties like the physicist Nils Bohr, the Arctic explorer Knud diately chosen by Krebs and along with four young men,
Rasmussen, the industrialist H. N. Andersen of the East they took off in 1923. After two years’ hard work on the farm
Asiatic Company, and the philosopher Harald Høffding, an project, unfortunate political circumstances for foreigners
appeal for financial support was made to Danish citizens in Mongolia forced Haslund to leave the country and take
1and resulted in a “people’s gift” of 1,3 mill DKK in 1926. The a job in China. The daily contact with local Mongols had
new building in Ny Vestergade was to open in 1938 and in stirred his interest in their society and spiritual life,
howthe same year the Ethnographic Department was to host ever, and he had picked up vernacular Mongolian. His early
The International Congress of Anthropologists with the impressions of the country and its peoples are captured in
prospect of hundreds of visiting anthropologists from his book Jabonah (1932) (English version: Tents in Mongolia
around the world. Both events put pressure on Thomas 1934). From the reports of his companions in Uriankhai we
Thomsen and his staff to acquire further collections of a learn of a charming person, who got along well with the
Mongols, and whose frankness and easiness they enjoyed.
Enchanted by his charm and vitality was also the SwedishHaslund at Chagan Khure Sume, the White Temple, field station of
explorer Sven Hedin who employed Haslund for his Sino-The Second Danish Expedition to Central Asia in 1938-1939.
Photo: Haslund, 1939. Swedish Expedition in 1927. His assistance to the scientists
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30 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1
Companions on their way to Mongolia in
June 1923: Kaj “the Buffalo” Borgstrøm lifts
his fellow emigrants, Carl Krebs on his left Arriving safely in Shanghai in August 1923, the danes enjoyed a few days of entertainment
and Tage Birck on his right side, and and relaxation before the long walk up to Urga. From the left are Haslund, Tage Birck, Kaj
Haslund on his shoulders. Photographer Borgstrøm and Carl Krebs, the leader of the emigration project to Mongolia. Photog ra pher
unknown. unknown.
Inga Marit Lind- was acknowledged by Hedin and in early 1929 Haslund got
ström, called Mam - permission to pursue his personal interests and study the
mie, met Haslund Torguts, a Mongolian tribe with whom he had become
acin 1929. They
marquainted in a small location called Kharashar in the foot -
ried three years
hills of the Tien Shan Mountains. For Haslund this remote
later. She was a
location became a sanctuary from the political strife in
close partner in all
Sinkiang (Xinjiang) and a unique opportunity to test hishis endeavours
skills as collector and field-worker. He gained the trust offrom the very
beginning. She was the Torgut prince and living Buddha and for four months
his first reader, and he recorded songs and collected material on the history of
the person to the tribe.
whom he addressed On leave from the expedition in the summer of 1929
his diaries during
two important events changed his personal life and future
his exped itions.
career: He met his coming wife Inga Marit Lindström, the
Private possession.
daughter of Märtha Telander and Captain of the Swedish
navy C. F. J. Lindström, in Stockholm, and a close friend of
the Hedin family, and in Copenhagen he met with Thomas
Thomsen at the National Museum who was sympathetic
to Haslund’s dream of one day leading his own expedition
to Asia. In 1930 Haslund’s employment with Sven Hedin
came to an end. This was a disappointment to him, but he
went to Kashmir, where he tried to build up a trade route
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30 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1 chapter 1 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer 31
Companions on their way to Mongolia in
June 1923: Kaj “the Buffalo” Borgstrøm lifts
his fellow emigrants, Carl Krebs on his left Arriving safely in Shanghai in August 1923, the danes enjoyed a few days of entertainment
and Tage Birck on his right side, and and relaxation before the long walk up to Urga. From the left are Haslund, Tage Birck, Kaj
Haslund on his shoulders. Photographer Borgstrøm and Carl Krebs, the leader of the emigration project to Mongolia. Photog ra pher
The Swedish explorer Sven Hedin with his Scandinavian team before the departure of the Sino-Swedish expedition in 1927: From the leftunknown. unknown.
physicist David Hummel, Haslund, geologist Erik Norin, archaeologist Folke Bergman, Sven Hedin, Frans August Larson and Georg Söderbom.
Photo: Paul Lieberentz, 1927. SMVK & Sven Hedin Foundation.
Inga Marit Lind- was acknowledged by Hedin and in early 1929 Haslund got
ström, called Mam - permission to pursue his personal interests and study the
mie, met Haslund between Srinagar and Kashgar. In early 1931 he was caught and 1937 respectively. The reason Haslund was able to suc-Torguts, a Mongolian tribe with whom he had become
acin 1929. They
marquainted in a small location called Kharashar in the foot - in an avalanche near Peshawar and seriously injured. After ceed and even manage to bring back comprehensive
collecried three years
a dramatic rescue he flew to Stockholm to be operated and tions was due to his talents for diplomacy, his thorough lo-hills of the Tien Shan Mountains. For Haslund this remote
later. She was a
location became a sanctuary from the political strife in upon a long convalescence he recovered with a small limp. cal knowledge and his ability to seize opportunities. On
close partner in all
Soon after he married and settled in Stockholm. With un- both expeditions Haslund relied on help from old friendsSinkiang (Xinjiang) and a unique opportunity to test hishis endeavours
skills as collector and field-worker. He gained the trust of failing energy he managed to write two books during his in Inner Mongolia, a mix of people from his time in thefrom the very
berecovery, Jabonah (1932) and Zajagan (1935) (English version: Hedin expedition, Danes working in China, and Swedishginning. She was the Torgut prince and living Buddha and for four months
his first reader, and he recorded songs and collected material on the history of Men and Gods in Mongolia 1935), the latter relating his experi- missionaries who jointly make up what I refer to as the
the person to ences during Sven Hedin’s expedition and his meeting Scandinavian network. On the second expedition Haslundthe tribe.
whom he addressed On leave from the expedition in the summer of 1929 with the Torguts. At this time he also worked on his music was accompanied by Werner Jacobsen, a 26 year old student
his diaries during
recordings, gave public lectures and went on radio in Swe- of archaeology, and Kaare Grønbech, a 39 year old philolo-two important events changed his personal life and future
his exped itions.
career: He met his coming wife Inga Marit Lindström, the den and Denmark. These achievements brought him in gist and doctor of Turkish, who both aided Haslund
collectPrivate possession.
contact with influential circles in Copenhagen, the Royal ing ethnographic artefats, but first and foremost made sig-daughter of Märtha Telander and Captain of the Swedish
navy C. F. J. Lindström, in Stockholm, and a close friend of Danish Geographical Society, the National Museum, the nificant finds for the National Museum and the Royal
LiCopenhagen University and importantly, the political es- brary within their own fields. After his return Haslundthe Hedin family, and in Copenhagen he met with Thomas
Thomsen at the National Museum who was sympathetic tablishment who backed his plans for his one-man expe- worked on his collections at the museum and curated their
dition to Eastern Inner Mongolia (1936-1937) and later his display of the permanent exhibition in 1946. to Haslund’s dream of one day leading his own expedition
to Asia. In 1930 Haslund’s employment with Sven Hedin expedition to South East Inner Mongolia in 1938-1939. On During World War II ideas for a third expedition to
both expeditions he worked under extreme political pres- Cen tral Asia were developed by Haslund and a number ofcame to an end. This was a disappointment to him, but he
went to Kashmir, where he tried to build up a trade route sure from the Japanese who had occupied the region in 1931 scholars in Denmark and Sweden, and a plan was finally
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32 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1
The three members of The Second Danish Expedition to Central
Asia: Haslund flanked by two of his close assistants, Bimba and
Altan Hajak, with archaeologist Werner Jacobsen and philologist
Kaare Grønbech in front of field station, Chagan Khure Sume in 1939. Söderbom stands between Haslund to the left, and Desmond
MarPhoto: Haslund, 1939. tin, Canadian historian and Werner Jacobsen to the right. Georg
Söderbom (1904-1973), son af missionary parents Carl and Anna
Söderbom, Georg was born in China and began acquiring an
intiformed by Haslund and Grønbech. In December 1947 the mate knowledge of Chinese and Mongolian as a child. He par tici -
Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia embarked on its pated in Sven Hedin’s Central Asian Expedition 1927-1935 along with
journey and established its base in Kabul, Afghanistan. The many other Scandinavians, among them Haslund. The two became
close friends, and when Haslund returned to Inner Mongolia in 1936,first batch of scholars of the interdisciplinary team
includSöderbom assisted Haslund in parts of the collections. In the follow-ed zoologist Kristian Paludan, botanist Lennart Edelberg,
ing year, Söderbom became a regular member of The Second Danishhistorian of religion Halfdan Siiger, and botanists Mogens
Expedition to Central Asia (1937-1938) with a significant contribution
and Åse Køie. The following year geographer Johannes
to the expedition’s collections, the so-called Caravan Collection. In
Humlum, and zoologist Niels Haarløv joined the team.
1949 Söderbom left for Sweden, and apart from the years 1951-1955
Tragically Haslund fell ill less than a year after he had
when he lived in the USA, Söderbom lived and worked in Sweden
arrived in Afghanistan and he died after a brief illness on until his death, assisting in the comprehensive work on the results
18 September 1948 in Kabul, where he was buried at the in- of the Sven Hedin expedition at the Ethnographic Museum in
Stock3ternational cementary. The leadership of the expedition holm. Photo: Kaare Grønbech, 1938.
was taken over by his colleagues and close peers, Carl Krebs,
Kaare Grønbech and Kristian Paludan, and subsequently by
anthropologist HRH Prince Peter of Greece to Denmark. into many languages. Haslund was also a valued and steady
The work was completed by the team as planned in 1951. contribu tor to feature articles in Danish newspapers and
In addition to the two popular travel books already magazines, offering historical, political, and social
perspecmentioned, Haslund published a third book, Asiatiske Strejf - tives of Mongolian culture and descriptions of his journeys.
tog in 1945 (Mongolian Journey 1949). Of scholarly interest are
art icles in the Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society
The legacy of the “grand expeditions”:
(1934; 1938) and the National Museum’s publication series
Haslund as traveller and collector
Fra Nationalmuseets Arbejdsmark (1944a; 1946); likewise a
thorough introduction to his music and sound collections is Haslund’s travels and expeditions are inscribed in the
largfound in the series of scientific reports from Sven Hedin’s er history of ethnographic expeditions, which began in the
Sino-Swedish expeditions in 1943. His books became im- second part of the 1800s. This was an enterprise congruent
mensely popular in Denmark and were soon translated with the general establishment of ethnographic museums
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32 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1 chapter 1 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer 33
In 1922 the family decided to join their names with a
hyphen hence Haslund-Christensen, but this was
shortened by Henning Haslund-Christensen to “Haslund”. He
is known as such to his contemporaries, to us who work
with his material, and to the Mongols too, who could
not pronounce his name correctly and called him
“Raslang” or “Arselan”, “lion”. Lodai lama, the Mongolian
artist working for Haslund during the second exped -
ition’s stay in Khukho Khoto in August-October 1938
cr eated his seal or ex libris depicting Haslund as the
mythological lion, guarding the holy Buddhist places.
This was a subtext he proudly accepted. The small lion
cub placed in the bottom corner to the right is Søren,
Haslund’s son, born in 1933. On the left side, the text in
Chinese characters reads: ha shi lún yin, meaning
Haslund’s seal; at the top is written in Tibetan: dan me
kwu seng gis, i.e. “dänmeku sengi”, which corresponds to
The three members of The Second Danish Expedition to Central the same words in Mongolian on the right side: dang miy
Asia: Haslund flanked by two of his close assistants, Bimba and aguo raslang: The Lion of Denmark.
Altan Hajak, with archaeologist Werner Jacobsen and philologist
Kaare Grønbech in front of field station, Chagan Khure Sume in 1939. Söderbom stands between Haslund to the left, and Desmond
MarPhoto: Haslund, 1939. tin, Canadian historian and Werner Jacobsen to the right. Georg
Söderbom (1904-1973), son af missionary parents Carl and Anna
Söderbom, Georg was born in China and began acquiring an
intiin Europe and structurally and ideologically associated Central Asia were carried out by Lieutenant Ole Olufsenformed by Haslund and Grønbech. In December 1947 the mate knowledge of Chinese and Mongolian as a child. He par tici -
Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia embarked on its with the growing interest of the West for more detailed (1896-1899), followed in 1936 by geographer Gunnar Feil-pated in Sven Hedin’s Central Asian Expedition 1927-1935 along with
knowledge of the colonies. The expeditions and travels berg’s travels in Iran, the same year as Haslund conductedjourney and established its base in Kabul, Afghanistan. The many other Scandinavians, among them Haslund. The two became
close friends, and when Haslund returned to Inner Mongolia in 1936,first batch of scholars of the interdisciplinary team includ- were often initiated or authorized by Geographical Soci- his first expedition to Mongolia. In the 1940s large field
exSöderbom assisted Haslund in parts of the collections. In the follow- eties, which originate in the same period and in many ways peditions were globally on the wane, but Denmark contin-ed zoologist Kristian Paludan, botanist Lennart Edelberg,
ing year, Söderbom became a regular member of The Second Danishhistorian of religion Halfdan Siiger, and botanists Mogens prepared the road for ethnographic expeditions and for co- ued to launch expeditions, particularly to its traditional
Expedition to Central Asia (1937-1938) with a significant contribution
operations between the Societies and the museums, as we fields in Greenland and Central Asia. Among the many sci-and Åse Køie. The following year geographer Johannes
to the expedition’s collections, the so-called Caravan Collection. In
Humlum, and zoologist Niels Haarløv joined the team. shall see in chapter 2. The Societies’ pioneered modern sci- entific ventures was The Danish Galathea Deep Sea
Expe1949 Söderbom left for Sweden, and apart from the years 1951-1955
entific geography, both technically and theoretically and dition around the world from 1950-1952, also known as theTragically Haslund fell ill less than a year after he had
when he lived in the USA, Söderbom lived and worked in Sweden
arri ved in Afghanistan and he died after a brief illness on became useful instruments for colonial expansion, trade, Galathea 2, where collections of ethnographic specimensuntil his death, assisting in the comprehensive work on the results
and commerce, and for expeditions to regions of political were also brought back. From this period on the expedi-18 September 1948 in Kabul, where he was buried at the in- of the Sven Hedin expedition at the Ethnographic Museum in
Stock3ternational cementary. The leadership of the expedition holm. Photo: Kaare Grønbech, 1938. interest (Christiansen 2005, 16-17). tions commissioned to collect ethnographic artefacts to the
In Denmark “the time of the large expeditions” partic- museum were supplemented by individual travellers andwas taken over by his colleagues and close peers, Carl Krebs,
Kaare Grønbech and Kristian Paludan, and subsequently by ularly commissioned to collect objects for the National Mu- scholars on anthropological fieldwork. The Danish
tradiseum’s Ethnographic Department began in the late 1880s tion of recruiting scholars at a large scale across the disci-anthropologist HRH Prince Peter of Greece to Denmark. into many languages. Haslund was also a valued and steady
The work was completed by the team as planned in 1951. contribu tor to feature articles in Danish newspapers and with numerous expeditions to Greenland, followed by ex- plines was demonstrated in 2006-2007 when the Danish
peditions to Central Asia and North Africa (cf. Høiris 1986, Government launched the Galathea 3 expedition aroundIn addition to the two popular travel books already magazines, offering historical, political, and social
perspecmentioned, Haslund published a third book, Asiatiske Strejf - tives of Mongolian culture and descriptions of his journeys. 57ff; Editor’s Preface). A Commission for Scientific Research the world, funded by the state and numerous Danish
priin Greenland was established in 1878 by the state with the vate foundations and companies. Like the Galathea 2, thetog in 1945 (Mongolian Journey 1949). Of scholarly interest are
art icles in the Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society objective to provide maps and undertake natural scientific third expedition was primarily focused on the natural
sciThe legacy of the “grand expeditions”:
investigations and surveys. Only later with Gustav Holm’s ences, and its secondary focus was anthropology and the(1934; 1938) and the National Museum’s publication series
Haslund as traveller and collector
Fra Nationalmuseets Arbejdsmark (1944a; 1946); likewise a thor- expedition to Eastern Greenland in 1883-1885 did the com- collection of ethnographic objects (n.a. Dansk
Ekspedi5mission incorporate archaeology, anthropology, philology tionsfond 2008; cf. Nielsen 2008; 2009; 2012).ough introduction to his music and sound collections is Haslund’s travels and expeditions are inscribed in the
larg4found in the series of scientific reports from Sven Hedin’s er history of ethnographic expeditions, which began in the and the collection of ethnographic specimens . Under the The legendary history of travels and expeditions, in
auspices of the National Museum and the Royal Danish particular of those which went to Asia had a strong impactSino-Swedish expeditions in 1943. His books became im- second part of the 1800s. This was an enterprise congruent
mensely popular in Denmark and were soon translated with the general establishment of ethnographic museums Geograp hical Society (established in 1876) expeditions to on Haslund. Specifically the achievements made by fellow
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34 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1
The Danish arctic explorer Knud Ras- Danes in the region became the context in which he
mussen in Alaska. As a traveller and framed, and maybe also legitimised his ideas as well as his
collector, Haslund became interna- own future role, namely to continue the experiences of the
tionally recognised and ad mired in
ones who went before him, paired with his wish for
conhis time, and was celebrated as a
natinued Danish attainments in Central Asia. Hence the
intional hero in league with Knud
Rasspiration to “claim” Mongolia as a Danish object of research
mussen (1879-1933), another great
originated with the philologist Vilhelm Thomsen (1842-Danish traveller and expedition
lead1927) who in 1893 deciphered the Orkhon inscriptions, aer. The two men are often paired in
the National Museum’s narratives on comprehensive text on two steles south of the Baikal Lake
6the visionary individuals whose ac- area in North West Mongolia. Thomsen had never been to
complishments attained inter national Mongolia, but he lifted the veil of the inscriptions through
bstandards. Rasmussen and Haslund
years of intensive studies of the data of a Finnish
expediwere both without academic
education to Mongolia in 1884 (Meyer 1989, 696 ff; Aalto 1989, 99).
tion, but they stand out among
In line with what Fabian describes as “the explorer’s mind”
courageous and remarkable men in
(Fabian 2000), Haslund saw himself as a mediator and
Danish exped ition history; they have
elaborator of the work already begun by others and after in the aftermath become inseparable
his expedition to Inner Mongolia in 1936-1937, he revealedfrom their exped itions and collections
at the museum, in the eyes of both his plans:
the academic world, and the Danish
public. The two men never met. Denmark has had [Ole] Olufsen’s Pamir expeditions and
Photo: Leo Hansen, 1923.
Knud Rasmussen’s collections cover all northern Polar
ReThe members of the Second Danish Pamir Expedition resting in Konia, 1898. From the left: Premier Lieutenant Ole Olufsen, the Uzbek
interpreter Sharif, the physicist Anthon Hjuler, and the botanist Ove Paulsen. Olufsen’s expeditions had a strong impact on Haslund plans and his
routes were inscribed in Haslund’s map; see p. 37. Photo from Fihl 2002, 26.
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34 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1 chapter 1 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer 35
7The Danish arctic explorer Knud Ras- Danes in the region became the context in which he gions. His donated Alexander-collection goes as far as the
mussen in Alaska. As a traveller and old Tungus regions, north of Manchuria. The collectionsframed, and maybe also legitimised his ideas as well as his
collector, Haslund became interna- own future role, namely to continue the experiences of the brought back by me begin precisely where Knud Rasmussen
tionally recognised and ad mired in
ended and extend over Barga and Khorchin, and furtherones who went before him, paired with his wish for
conhis time, and was celebrated as a
natinued Danish attainments in Central Asia. Hence the in- west to the Tumet tribe. It would be interesting if this
Montional hero in league with Knud
Rasgolian material could be further extended to the west andspiration to “claim” Mongolia as a Danish object of research
mussen (1879-1933), another great
originated with the philologist Vilhelm Thomsen (1842- reach the area of Olufsen’s collections from the Pamir. SuchDanish traveller and expedition
leada circuit collection would increase the value of the collected1927) who in 1893 deciphered the Orkhon inscriptions, aer. The two men are often paired in
8the National Museum’s narratives on comprehensive text on two steles south of the Baikal Lake material and form a splendid unity.
6the visionary individuals whose ac- area in North West Mongolia. Thomsen had never been to
complishments attained inter national Mongolia, but he lifted the veil of the inscriptions through These ambitions formed the overall frame and scheme of
bstandards. Rasmussen and Haslund Haslund’s subsequent expeditions and were repeatedlyyears of intensive studies of the data of a Finnish
expediwere both without academic
education to Mongolia in 1884 (Meyer 1989, 696 ff; Aalto 1989, 99). stated in reports and applications in the years to come. On
tion, but they stand out among
the second expedition (1938-1939), launched as the RoyalIn line with what Fabian describes as “the explorer’s mind”
courageous and remarkable men in
(Fabian 2000), Haslund saw himself as a mediator and Danish Geographical Society’s Expedition to Central Asia,
Danish exped ition history; they have
another part of the planned work was accomplishedelaborator of the work already begun by others and after in the aftermath become inseparable
his expedition to Inner Mongolia in 1936-1937, he revealed through the joint multidisciplinary efforts of archaeologistfrom their exped itions and collections
at the museum, in the eyes of both Werner Jacobsen, philologist Kaare Grønbech, and ethnog-his plans:
the academic world, and the Danish rapher and sound-recorder Haslund, assisted in the ethno -
public. The two men never met. graphic collecting by the Swede and local resident GeorgDenmark has had [Ole] Olufsen’s Pamir expeditions and
Photo: Leo Hansen, 1923.
Knud Rasmussen’s collections cover all northern Polar Re- Söderbom in South East Inner Mongolia.
In the plans for the third expedition, drawn up jointly
by Haslund and Kaare Grønbech in the early 1940s, the
argument was further justified historically, now including
early Danish explorers of Asia like Vitus Bering (1681-1741)
A pamphlet addressed to “Patriots Abroad” was made up jointly by
the leader of Peter the Great’s two expeditions to
Haslund and Grønbech in 1946, with the purpose of mobilising
interKamchatka (1728 and 1733), Carsten Niebuhr (1733-1815)
carest and resources for a Third Danish Expedition to Central Asia. The
tographer of the Danish expedition to Arabia Felix
(1761project had great backing from a group of progressive and
interna1767), the linguists and orientalists Rasmus Rask (1787- tionally orientated Danes, the names of whom are printed on the
1832), N. L. Westergaard (1815-1878) and Karl Verner (1846- back of the pamphlet.
1896); finally it included his colleague, the geographer Carl
Gunnar Feilberg (1894-1972) who had travelled in Iran in After World War II, the plans were published by the
Nation1936 as previously mentioned, as well as his own achieve- al Museum in a small pamphlet addressed to “Patriots
ments in Mongolia. A patriotic note runs through it all, Abroad” (1946) and formulated as a national request for
mostly in a modest form with references such as “Denmark support for the continuation of Danish scientific
achieveis a small country without colonial ambitions, and a coun- ments abroad in the “grand interest of mankind”. HRH
try with a good resonance with the people of the East”, as Prince Axel and representatives of Danish cultural
institu9he stated in a lecture in 1937. But in his plans for the third tions and private companies signed the pamphlet. The
supexpedition, written during the German occupation of Den- port was secured, as were the financial means, from both
mark, as a confidential appeal to a larger group of influen- public and private sources, particularly the Carlsberg
Fountial scholars, the patriotic perspective was enhanced: dation.
The realization of Haslund’s ultimate aim had been in
We do not exaggerate when we say that Denmark, despite the pipeline for a long time, and before the third expedition
its size and resources within this field, has made an left Copenhagen in December 1947, his visions made
headachievement which lies way above what is expected from a lines in Danish newspapers: “Copenhagen a new centre forThe members of the Second Danish Pamir Expedition resting in Konia, 1898. From the left: Premier Lieutenant Ole Olufsen, the Uzbek
intersmall country to the contributions to the progress of Euro- Central Asian Studies”. He had aired this ambition in dif-preter Sharif, the physicist Anthon Hjuler, and the botanist Ove Paulsen. Olufsen’s expeditions had a strong impact on Haslund plans and his
10routes were inscribed in Haslund’s map; see p. 37. Photo from Fihl 2002, 26. pean culture. ferent forums over the years, and consistently pushed for
Contents
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36 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1
levels compared to the former ones, Haslund’s project was
backed with enthusiasm and post-war patriotism by the
press:
After this expedition, Copenhagen will become the natural
centre for all research in High Asia as it already is for Arctic
research. […] The state and numerous funds and private
gifts have contributed. But everyone has contributed gladly,
knowing full well that an expedition under the unique lea -
der ship of Haslund-Christensen is granted rich results that
will reflect well on Denmark’s name and Danish science.
[…] We think it is the ideal way for a small country to make
its mark among so many nations, which militarily and
financially are our superiors, but with whom we can
com13pete scientifically on equal terms.
The results of the third expedition received the attention
of the international scientific community and facilitated a
continued Danish engagement in Asia (cf. Edelberg &
Ferdinand 1958; Høiris 1986; Nielsen 2004-05). Studies of
Inner Asian cultures increased significantly both at
Copenhagen University and at the National Museum, resulting
in many publications. The central figure in this work was
first and foremost Has lund’s former expedition partner
and companion in the Central Asian endeavours since 1938,
The members of the Henning Haslund-Christensen Memorial Exped -
Kaare Grønbech. He was appointed professor in 1947, and
ition to Afghanistan in 1953-1955, led by HRH Prince Peter. Prince
functioned until his death in 1957 as the head co-ordinator
Peter is on the camel with ethnogr apher Klaus Ferdinand, and
of the scientific heritage of the third expedition. Haslund’sbotanist Lennart Edelberg holds the camel’s rope. The fourth
memposition as expedition leader in Afghanistan was takenber, film photographer Peter Rasmussen, took the photo in 1954 in
Afghanistan. Photo: Peter Rasmussen, 1954. Moesgaard Museum. over by zoologist Knud Paludan and in India and Himalaya
by Prince Peter and Carl Krebs, the latter, who had
introduced Haslund to Mongolia in 1923, and whose early
insupport to achieve his vision. At this point, however, the fluence on our protagonist will be explored in chapter 2.
timing was right. Along with other nationally promoted Haslund’s plans for the third expedition were to finally
projects at the time, such as the above mentioned Galathea “cover the vast region between the Pacific Ocean and
Per2 Expedition and the Peary Land Expeditions (1940-1955) to sia” as he expressed it in his lecture in 1937. As the
possi11Greenland, Haslund’s third expedition formed part of a bilities to carry out fieldwork in Eastern Asia and Tibet
general effort to forge a new international approach for were limited in 1947, he let the scholars undertake work in
Danish science and research (Nielsen 2009). The common Afghanistan and all areas politically accessible at the time:
goal of the promotion of multidisciplinary research of in- Chitral, Kashmir, Sikkim and Assam. He planned a grand
ternational standard inspired the leading individuals of the final meeting of all the members to take place in Alashan
plans for these expeditions to meet in Stockholm during in North West China in 1950. At the time of his death in
World War II to explore the funding for a Danish Expedi- 1948, fieldwork was conducted in many parts of Afghani -
tion Foundation, eventually established in 1946-1947 (Niel - stan and Chitral by both natural scientists and
ethnogra14sen 2009, 37-39; Grønnow & Fogh Jensen 2003, 19; Dansk phers. Five years later a new Danish Scientific Mission to
12 Ekspeditionsfond, n.a. 2008). With the launching of the Central Asia, the so-called Henning Haslund-Christensen
third and last expedition, widely extended in volume at all Memorial Expedition (1953-1955) went to Afghanistan and
Contents
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36 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1 chapter 1 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer 37
levels compared to the former ones, Haslund’s project was
backed with enthusiasm and post-war patriotism by the
press:
After this expedition, Copenhagen will become the natural
centre for all research in High Asia as it already is for Arctic
research. […] The state and numerous funds and private
gifts have contributed. But everyone has contributed gladly,
knowing full well that an expedition under the unique lea -
der ship of Haslund-Christensen is granted rich results that
will reflect well on Denmark’s name and Danish science.
[…] We think it is the ideal way for a small country to make
its mark among so many nations, which militarily and
financially are our superiors, but with whom we can
com13pete scientifically on equal terms.
The results of the third expedition received the attention
of the international scientific community and facilitated a
continued Danish engagement in Asia (cf. Edelberg &
Ferdinand 1958; Høiris 1986; Nielsen 2004-05). Studies of
Inner Asian cultures increased significantly both at
Copenhagen University and at the National Museum, resulting
in many publications. The central figure in this work was
first and foremost Has lund’s former expedition partner
and companion in the Central Asian endeavours since 1938,
The members of the Henning Haslund-Christensen Memorial Exped -
Kaare Grønbech. He was appointed professor in 1947, and
ition to Afghanistan in 1953-1955, led by HRH Prince Peter. Prince
functioned until his death in 1957 as the head co-ordinator
Peter is on the camel with ethnogr apher Klaus Ferdinand, and
of the scientific heritage of the third expedition. Haslund’sbotanist Lennart Edelberg holds the camel’s rope. The fourth mem- Haslund’s travels and expeditions are printed on the map along with
position as expedition leader in Afghanistan was takenber, film photographer Peter Rasmussen, took the photo in 1954 in the exped itions of Ole Olufsen in Pamir, those of Carl Gunnar
FeilAfghanistan. Photo: Peter Rasmussen, 1954. Moesgaard Museum. over by zoo logist Knud Paludan and in India and Himalaya berg in Iran, and finally the Eugen Alexander collection of Siberian
peoples, obtained for the Danish National Museum in 1927 by Knudby Prince Peter and Carl Krebs, the latter, who had
introRasmussen. To Haslund the results of these expeditions togetherduced Haslund to Mongolia in 1923, and whose early
ininf ormed each other and made up what he named a “perfect circuitsupport to achieve his vision. At this point, however, the fluence on our protagonist will be explored in chapter 2.
collection” . From Edelberg & Ferdinand, 1958.
timing was right. Along with other nationally promoted Haslund’s plans for the third expedition were to finally
projects at the time, such as the above mentioned Galathea “cover the vast region between the Pacific Ocean and
Per2 Expedition and the Peary Land Expeditions (1940-1955) to sia” as he expressed it in his lecture in 1937. As the
possi11Greenland, Haslund’s third expedition formed part of a bilities to carry out fieldwork in Eastern Asia and Tibet India. It was led by HRH Prince Peter of Greece to Denmark
general effort to forge a new international approach for were limited in 1947, he let the scholars undertake work in (1908-1980) with botanist Lennart Edel berg (1915-1981),
Danish science and research (Nielsen 2009). The common Afghanistan and all areas politically accessible at the time: ethnographer Klaus Ferdinand (1926-2005) and photog -
goal of the promotion of multidisciplinary research of in- Chitral, Kashmir, Sikkim and Assam. He planned a grand rapher Peter Rasmussen (1918-1992) as members.
Subseternational standard inspired the leading individuals of the final meeting of all the members to take place in Alashan quent expeditions continued the work of the third
expediplans for these expeditions to meet in Stockholm during in North West China in 1950. At the time of his death in tion, steadily expanding the research area in Afghanistan,
World War II to explore the funding for a Danish Expedi- 1948, fieldwork was conducted in many parts of Afghani - Iran, India and Pakistan. Later on individual scholars
foltion Foundation, eventually established in 1946-1947 (Niel - stan and Chitral by both natural scientists and ethnogra- lowed suit, making studies in Afghanistan and Iran
estab14sen 2009, 37-39; Grønnow & Fogh Jensen 2003, 19; Dansk phers. Five years later a new Danish Scientific Mission to lished foci of Danish anthropology, as documented in theHaslund rests in the heat of noon on one of his last trips out of
12 Ekspeditionsfond, n.a. 2008). With the launching of the Central Asia, the so-called Henning Haslund-Christensen present Carlsberg Nomad Research Project series, as well as Kabul before his tragic death on 13 September 1948. Photo:
Mo15third and last expedition, widely extended in volume at all Memorial Expedition (1953-1955) went to Afghanistan and gens & Aase Køie, 1948. Moesgaard Museum. of other disciplines, notably archaeology and philology.
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38 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1
Carl Krebs at Haslund’s grave at The
European Cementary in Shepur, Kabul in 1950.
After Haslund’s death the position as
expedition leader was divided between
zoologist Knud Paludan, HRH Prince Peter and
Carl Krebs. Photo: Schuyler Jones, 1950.
Moesgaard Museum.
and distribution of the Mongolian tribes and their inter -
Collector and writer
relationships over time. It was a conception which steadily
Haslund’s authority as expedition leader and collector re- guided his pursuit and it had its origin in his meeting with
lied on his profound knowledge and familiarity with the the Khara Shar Torgut Mongols in the Tien Shan
Mounfield. To travellers of the time, “to know the field required tains in 1928-1929, when he served as a member of Sven
a physical intimacy with it, bordering on immersion” Hedin’s Sino-Swedish expedition. During this stay he
col(Nielsen, Harbsmeier & Ries 2012, 10); this was undeniably lected legends and recorded songs to “demonstrate my
so with Haslund and the very source of his inspiration. The honest interest in the history of the Torguts and to pay my
same can be said in regard to his ethnographic descriptions respects to their teachings and traditions” (1935, 174), as he
and travelogues. The extraordinary qualities of knowing noted in Zajagan, the book dedicated to their tribal history.
the field added to his authority on Mongolia. For almost A decade later, he recalled his devotion to the study of the
three decades his image of Mongolia prevailed uncontested Mongolian folk-music tradition and argued that this
main the minds of his Danish readers and listeners in the terial might help to determine “ the mutual relationships
same way as many explorers before him had presented of the many tribes and peoples living in the Central Asia of
their cultural or geographical map as metaphors for entire our day […] and the descent of these peoples from the
areas, as argued by Hastrup in the case of Artic explorer famous hordes that once made world-history“ (1943, 24). It
Knud Rasmussen (2004-05, 176). was an ambitious undertaking, but one which reverberated
From his notes and in parts of his writings we learn of with the academic circles in Copenhagen at the time and
his particular dedication to the collection of immaterial with the reigning paradigms of cultural-historical studies.
culture. For many years this guided his study of the Mon- It was in tune moreover with the general interest in
golians and interest in collecting folk-music, legends and “rescue-collecting”, as reflected in a letter of 1936 from the
mythical stories which he found might tell of the origin Head of Ethnographic Collections, Thomas Thomsen to
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38 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1 chapter 1 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer 39
Carl Krebs at Haslund’s grave at The Euro- The staff of the Ethno graphic Department
pean Cementary in Shepur, Kabul in 1950. at the National Museum was a strong and
After Haslund’s death the position as expe- continuous support to Haslund from the
dition leader was divided between zoolo- very beginning in 1936 and during all this
gist Knud Paludan, HRH Prince Peter and expeditions. From the left: geographer Dr
Carl Krebs. Photo: Schuyler Jones, 1950. Carl Gunnar Feilberg, secretary E. Collin,
Moesgaard Museum. Head of the Department Thomas Thomsen,
Dr Kaj Birket-Smith, (leader of the
department after Thomas Thomsen), a visiting
Russian researcher named Forstein,
N. Thron, and geographer Dr Helge Larsen,
leader of the department after Kaj
BirketSmith. Photog rapher unknown, 1938-1939.
Haslund which instructed him “to secure a well-covered (1943; 1944a; 1944b; 1945; 1946). These acquisition stories
and representative collection from the region’s many Mon- are ethnographically informative, but they also function as
golian tribes before their traditions vanish.” The collecting narratives for the benefit of his general readers. To a certain
of Mongol folk-music and legends and their analysis, extent they romanticise the collector’s role as for example
however, was a project which Haslund never concluded. As in an article of how he got hold of three shaman costumes
early as 1943 he wrote: “I cannot regard my work of collec- (1944a). To edit or rearrange one’s field notes for the
protion of Mongolian folk-music as concluded […] it is my hope duction of texts is a time-honoured practice among eth -and distribution of the Mongolian tribes and their inter -
Collector and writer
relationships over time. It was a conception which steadily that I or others may later be in a position to carry on this nog raph ers, as is the realization that such creations or
work until all the tones from a remote and great past […] in ventions not necessarily jeopardize the authority of theHaslund’s authority as expedition leader and collector re- guided his pursuit and it had its origin in his meeting with
lied on his profound knowledge and familiarity with the the Khara Shar Torgut Mongols in the Tien Shan Moun- have been recorded and made available to science” (ibid. 24). account, or that of its author for that matter (cf. Clifford
It is important to note, however, that the vision of estab- 1986). Haslund, however, did not hide that he sometimesfield. To travellers of the time, “to know the field required tains in 1928-1929, when he served as a member of Sven
a physical intimacy with it, bordering on immersion” Hedin’s Sino-Swedish expedition. During this stay he col- lishing the cultural-historical relationships between the edited the stories to serve a literary purpose, as he had done
different Mongol groups remained a seminal leitmotif in in Jabonah, his first book on the Mongols; as noted by the(Nielsen, Harbsmeier & Ries 2012, 10); this was undeniably lected legends and recorded songs to “demonstrate my
so with Haslund and the very source of his inspiration. The honest interest in the history of the Torguts and to pay my Haslund’s overall collecting and a motivation for including Swedish sinologist J. G. Andersson:
philo logical studies in his collection of the material culturesame can be said in regard to his ethnographic descriptions respects to their teachings and traditions” (1935, 174), as he
and travelogues. The extraordinary qualities of knowing noted in Zajagan, the book dedicated to their tribal history. of the Mongols. The same concern is traceable his writings. [w]hen I pressed the charming young author for the very
His notes on the “mythological stuff”, as he called it, trans- substance underlying his tale, he readily admitted that, tothe field added to his authority on Mongolia. For almost A decade later, he recalled his devotion to the study of the
three decades his image of Mongolia prevailed uncontested Mongolian folk-music tradition and argued that this ma- mitted to him from informants on local histories became suit his story, he had rearranged tales and legends which
a source from which both his popular travel books and were told to him in endless variety by the Mongols at thein the minds of his Danish readers and listeners in the terial might help to determine “ the mutual relationships
same way as many explorers before him had presented of the many tribes and peoples living in the Central Asia of ethnographic articles would spring. evening camp fire (1933, 355).
In these writings Haslund managed to develop a liter-their cultural or geographical map as metaphors for entire our day […] and the descent of these peoples from the
areas, as argued by Hastrup in the case of Artic explorer famous hordes that once made world-history“ (1943, 24). It ary form in which myths and stories played a dynamic role In his comparison of a number of German travel stories
and as expressions of the living experiences of the Mongo- from Central Africa, Fabian points to how the contents ofKnud Rasmussen (2004-05, 176). was an ambitious undertaking, but one which reverberated
From his notes and in parts of his writings we learn of with the academic circles in Copenhagen at the time and lian herders. The field-notes and published accounts pro- these vary between near realistic descriptions based on
vide insight into the kind of data Haslund was interested transcripts of the respective diaries on the one hand, andhis particular dedication to the collection of immaterial with the reigning paradigms of cultural-historical studies.
culture. For many years this guided his study of the Mon- It was in tune moreover with the general interest in in and reveal his ways and methods to obtain this informa- edited works rewritten in a literary form (Fabian 2000).
tion, in particular those parts of his writings which de- Haslund’s works embrace both forms; his diaries were of-golians and interest in collecting folk-music, legends and “r escue-collecting”, as reflected in a letter of 1936 from the
mythical stories which he found might tell of the origin Head of Ethnographic Collections, Thomas Thomsen to scribe how he located and obtained ethnographic objects ten used as draught versions for subsequent stories, and
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40 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1
Haslund in the environs of Khukho Khoto in Inner Mongolia in the early days of his Second Danish Expedition to Central Asia in August 1938.
Photo: Kaare Grønbech, 1938.
the literary form he applied was a presentation of events today, cannot be considered scientific in the strict sense of
in poetic and dramatic styles. In personal letters to his wife, the term. This was evident already in 1932 with the
publihe used this way of writing when describing important cation of his first book Jabonah of which a review stated:
events or finds, sometimes adding historical or other
explanatory comments, not as a particular gesture to his wife, The book enriches Danish travel literature. The book is
exbut consciously so as she was his “first reader”. Over the tremely well written and shaped by a significant artistic
years his style became literarily more sophisticated as for instinct; it is lively and entertaining, an experience from
example in the poetic Asiatiske Strejftog (1945) (English ver- beginning to end. From a scientific point of view, however,
sion: Mongolian Journey, 1949). Here the journey itself is no the core of the book lies in a different place.
Haslund-Chrislonger the central object, but the frame for narratives of ex- tensen appears to have an amazing gift for engagement in
ceptional events and meetings, written in a form similar to us distant peoples’ culture and mentality, an attitude of
to essays or short stories. understanding and sympathy paired with an irrevocable
deThe main body of Haslund’s writings can be cate- sire to understand these people on their own terms; abilities
gorised as travel literature. The stringent form and ethno- which offer great opportunities for him to become a
regraphic content, which captured his readers then, as it does searcher of man (Nielsen 1932, 217-218).
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40 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1 chapter 1 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer 41
Kaare Grønbech (1901-1957) in front of Chagan Khure in 1939. Grøn- Werner Jacobsen (1914-1979) standing between Orchir Batu and to
bech received his doctorate in 1936 on a thesis on the construction the right, Lodai lama, the two assistants to the expedition in
of the Turkish language. Shortly after he was approached by Khukho Khoto in 1938. Jacobsen was a student of archaeology under
Haslund who wished to attract Grønbech’s interest in series of sci- Professor Johannes Brøndsted, who recommended him to Haslund
entific tasks in Mongolia, which according to Haslund were waiting as a member of his expedition in 1938-1939. Besides contributing to
for a person like Grønbech. The following year he became a member the collection of ethnographica, Jacobsen’s input was first and
foreof The Second Danish Expedition to Central Asia and made a sub- most the collection of c. 1500 Sino-Siberian bronzes in the
characstantial collection of Mongolian books and manuscripts. Upon his teristic animal style, and about 2,000 finds of the macro- and
return Grønbech was employed at Copenhagen University, and from micr olithic cultures of Inner Mongolia. Upon his return, Jacobsen
Haslund in the environs of Khukho Khoto in Inner Mongolia in the early days of his Second Danish Expedition to Central Asia in August 1938. 1942 as Professor of Central Asian Languages. His comprehensive was employed at the Ethnographic Department where he worked
Photo: Kaare Grønbech, 1938. scientific achievements gave way to many honorary offices and in- with the results of the expedition until 1946, when he left to pursue
ternational recognition. With Grønbech as leader of the expedition his own projects in India and Nepal, bringing back fine collections
at home, Grønbech and Haslund continued their companionship in for the National Museum. By 1961 Jacobsen was again employed at
the literary form he applied was a presentation of events today, cannot be considered scientific in the strict sense of
the planning and execution of The Third Danish Expedition to Cen- the National Museum, and from 1963 as the Head of the newly
in poetic and dramatic styles. In personal letters to his wife, the term. This was evident already in 1932 with the
publitral Asia (1947-1950). They remained close friends and after Haslund’s opened Department of Information, from where he modernised the
he used this way of writing when describing important cation of his first book Jabonah of which a review stated:
untimely death in 1948, Grønbech became the custodian of Has - museum and was initiator of a series of new exhibition-forms,
events or finds, sometimes adding historical or other ex- lund’s heritage with regard to his papers, notes and photographs. among them Buddha’s Ways in 1970, which was lavishly furnished
planatory comments, not as a particular gesture to his wife, The book enriches Danish travel literature. The book is ex- Photo: Werner Jacobsen, 1939. with more than 2,000 objects from the expedition to Inner
Mongobut consciously so as she was his “first reader”. Over the tremely well written and shaped by a significant artistic lia in 1938-1939. Photo: Haslund, 1938.
years his style became literarily more sophisticated as for instinct; it is lively and entertaining, an experience from
example in the poetic Asiatiske Strejftog (1945) (English ver- beginning to end. From a scientific point of view, however,
sion: Mongolian Journey, 1949). Here the journey itself is no the core of the book lies in a different place.
Haslund-ChrisAlthough the review points to Haslund’s obvious ethno- writing made his achievements remarkable. The authorslonger the central object, but the frame for narratives of ex- tensen appears to have an amazing gift for engagement in
do not specify what they mean by “sense of science” exceptceptional events and meetings, written in a form similar to us distant peoples’ culture and mentality, an attitude of graphic and anthropological accomplishments in the text,
he was praised for its literary qualities. Haslund was re- for a general reference to Haslund’s recognition of “strictto essays or short stories. understanding and sympathy paired with an irrevocable
deform and systematic work” (Edelberg & Ferdinand ibid.). InThe main body of Haslund’s writings can be cate- sire to understand these people on their own terms; abilities ferred to as “the enthusiastic collector” (Edelberg &
Ferdinand 1958, 262), who did not work as a scientist in a con- general they emphasize his unique talent for recruitinggorised as travel literature. The stringent form and ethno- which offer great opportunities for him to become a
rescientists and assigning them to scholarly tasks, as well asgraphic content, which captured his readers then, as it does searcher of man (Nielsen 1932, 217-218). ventional sense, but whose sense of science in collecting and
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42 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1
his capacity to identify and locate relevant subjects for in- legends set in dramatic forms which reflect the Mongolian
vestigation in vast regions, hitherto unknown to the schol- herders’ equally dramatic relationship with their natural
ars of his expeditions. Haslund never regarded himself a and social environment. To Haslund the Mongols were a
scientist, but he was conscious of his abilities to collect and poetic people, who told stories about everything: horses,
bring back valuable material to be analyzed by scientists, women, ancestors, and demons - and also on the material
as we shall see. things surrounding them – and this is what captured
At the core of Haslund’s writings are his meetings with Haslund: “Everything that the Mongol has produced or laid
the native Mongolians over two decades. These encounters his eyes on, a legend is attributed,” he remarks (1945:145).
gave him access to stories and legends and, in Haslund’s It was not the conventional material qualities bestowed on
view they also framed the texts. It was in these very meet- an object such as its manufacture, form or function or
ings that he saw the possibility of obtaining the desired wider technological skills which fascinated him, but the
objects and access knowledge otherwise unattainable. magic stories that spring from form, decoration, and
proHaslund was confident of his project from the beginning. curement – or from the stories attached to them or their
He knew the region as his own backyard, he knew the lan- use. Haslund’s ethnographic insight gave him access to the
guage, and he knew and liked the Mongols, who received understanding that Mongol material objects always hold
him well. He describes one of his early meetings in 1926 on non-material attributes in the way that form and decor -
the edge of the Gobi desert, where he travelled with a Mon- ation is a materialisation of abstract values. These concepts
golian friend, as follows: are always present in the Mongols’ perception of their
material environment and felt as “desirable, right and fitting”
We were hospitably received all over and everywhere I was as argued by Chabros (1987, 272). Haslund’s thinking of
mamet by the invaluable gift of kindness. I wrote and wrote terial objects certainly brings us closer to present day
studand printed impression after impression into my craving ies of materiality than to the material culture studies of his
brain. […] Night after night I sat spellbound with these time.
desert nomads around the bon fires and experienced the Looking at Haslund’s collected notes, diaries, and texts
glorious world, which they with sparkling imagination con- we get an understanding of the relationship between the
jured up to my mind’s eye. [In this way] I learnt to listen plans and assignments of the expeditions on the one hand
with their ears and see the events with their eyes and I and his personal aspirations on the other. Working with
learnt to think their thoughts (Haslund-Christensen 1942). the material over many years, I am confident that the
bringing back of Mongolian artefacts for the museum and
Much later, he describes his sentiments as “the scent of other Danish institutions, providing this fund of data to be
r omance that anyone experiences who for the first time explored by Danish scientists, was a professional
assignfinds himself among strangers in a strange place” and he ment he readily took on, but it was the exploration of the
resumed his experiences as follows: Mongolian herders’ life and cosmology which was the
ultimate motivation and a personal driving force for all his
When you travel long enough [in Mongolia] and learn as the work. This offered him insights beyond the mere
materidays pass by, then you begin to understand that beyond the ality of things collected. This very insight supplied him
mystique of the nomads is more than the sentimentality of with data for his ethnographic writing that served
aspirathe moment, and that all the seemingly accidental events tions beyond scholarly recognition or national fame. The
are perceived as sustainable and meaningful factors in the distinction between the collector’s role and that of the
pronomads’ lives – that all what you only sense is an expression cessor of the collected at the museum (to which we shall
of a force which leads the nomads from cradle to grave, return in chapter 4), was inscribed in the academic practice
which guards the family life, keeps the clan together and of the day. Like so many professional travellers before and
governs the history of the tribe (Haslund-Christensen 1945, after him, Haslund regarded the communication of his
ex143). periences via books, articles and public lectures as a
profession, from which he could derive an income, and among
The force he is referring to stems from the power of the the many honorary titles bestowed on him through the
narratives told and retold around the bon fires, stories and years, he preferably called himself a writer (Edelberg &
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42 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1 chapter 1 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer 43
his capacity to identify and locate relevant subjects for in- legends set in dramatic forms which reflect the Mongolian When Haslund and his fellow travellers arrived in
vestigation in vast regions, hitherto unknown to the schol- herders’ equally dramatic relationship with their natural Mongolia in 1923, it was a region largely unknown to the
ars of his expeditions. Haslund never regarded himself a and social environment. To Haslund the Mongols were a western world. Except for a handful or so of individual
travscientist, but he was conscious of his abilities to collect and poetic people, who told stories about everything: horses, ellers who had published their experiences in reports to the
bring back valuable material to be analyzed by scientists, women, ancestors, and demons - and also on the material Geographical Societies, and in comprehensive works such
as we shall see. things surrounding them – and this is what captured as British Reverend James Gilmore’s Among the Mongols from
At the core of Haslund’s writings are his meetings with Haslund: “Everything that the Mongol has produced or laid 1882 to 83 and Douglas Carruthers’ Unknown Mongolia from
the native Mongolians over two decades. These encounters his eyes on, a legend is attributed,” he remarks (1945:145). 1914, knowledge of the country and its population was
purgave him access to stories and legends and, in Haslund’s It was not the conventional material qualities bestowed on sued predominately by the Russians. In fact modern
scholview they also framed the texts. It was in these very meet- an object such as its manufacture, form or function or arship on Mongolia and the Mongols originated with the
ings that he saw the possibility of obtaining the desired wider technological skills which fascinated him, but the Russian Empire, as we shall see in chapter 2, and it went
objects and access knowledge otherwise unattainable. magic stories that spring from form, decoration, and pro- hand in hand with the development of Russian-Mongolian
Haslund was confident of his project from the beginning. curement – or from the stories attached to them or their trade relations from the mid-1800s when the Russians
esHe knew the region as his own backyard, he knew the lan- use. Haslund’s ethnographic insight gave him access to the tablished a consulate in the capital, Urga (cf. Kotkin 1999;
guage, and he knew and liked the Mongols, who received understanding that Mongol material objects always hold Endicott 1999). A trail of Russian explorers from the mid
him well. He describes one of his early meetings in 1926 on non-material attributes in the way that form and decor - nineteenth century and onwards penetrated the region
Haslund and Werner Jacobsen observe and entertain guests andthe edge of the Gobi desert, where he travelled with a Mon- ation is a materialisation of abstract values. These concepts from all corners of the earth. Among the most prominent
informants in their living room in the expedition’s first field stationgolian friend, as follows: are always present in the Mongols’ perception of their ma- were officers in the Russian army Nikolai Przevalsky
(1839in Khukho Khoto in 1938. Photo: Kaare Grønbech, 1938.
terial environment and felt as “desirable, right and fitting” 1888) and Pyotr Koslov (1863-1935), who continued the work
We were hospitably received all over and everywhere I was as argued by Chabros (1987, 272). Haslund’s thinking of ma- of Przevalsky in Russian Turkestan and the Gobi Desert,
apmet by the invaluable gift of kindness. I wrote and wrote terial objects certainly brings us closer to present day stud- dinand 1958, 257). Haslund’s responsiveness to and empath - proximately twenty years prior to the arrival of Sven Hedin
and printed impression after impression into my craving ies of materiality than to the material culture studies of his etic insight into the lives of the indegenous population was and his Sino-Swedish expedition (1927-1935) along the
brain. […] Night after night I sat spellbound with these time. the very talent that fed his writing, but it also made him same routes. In 1923, in the same year as Haslund’s arrival,
16desert nomads around the bon fires and experienced the Looking at Haslund’s collected notes, diaries, and texts aware of the inherent ethnographic significance. It is ob- Andrej Dimitrievich Simukov (1902-1942), another Rus -
glorious world, which they with sparkling imagination con- we get an understanding of the relationship between the vious from his books and articles, as I shall demonstrate in sian explorer arrived to follow in the footsteps of Koslov.
jured up to my mind’s eye. [In this way] I learnt to listen plans and assignments of the expeditions on the one hand the next chapters that the recorded stories and legends be- Over the next fifteen years Simukov pursued his studies
with their ears and see the events with their eyes and I and his personal aspirations on the other. Working with came more than “cases or events” from which he could de- and became the founder of modern geography and
ethnoglearnt to think their thoughts (Haslund-Christensen 1942). the material over many years, I am confident that the velop his stories. They became his basic source of ethno- raphy in Mongolia. During this time span Simukov led no
bringing back of Mongolian artefacts for the museum and graphic understanding and lent data to his particular way less than fifteen expeditions across Mongolia, mapping the
Much later, he describes his sentiments as “the scent of other Danish institutions, providing this fund of data to be of writing about the Mongols. country and examining the conditions of the population
r omance that anyone experiences who for the first time explored by Danish scientists, was a professional assign- Niels Nielsen, professor of geography and secretary of with the particular focus on the Mongolian herders.
Unforfinds himself among strangers in a strange place” and he ment he readily took on, but it was the exploration of the the Royal Danish Geographical Society from 1932 to 1962, tunately he became a victim of the great purge taking place
resumed his experiences as follows: Mongolian herders’ life and cosmology which was the ul- mentor and continual support to Haslund all through his in both the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of
Montimate motivation and a personal driving force for all his career, wrote as follows in Haslund’s obituary: golia between 1937 and 1939. He was sent to the Gulag,
When you travel long enough [in Mongolia] and learn as the work. This offered him insights beyond the mere materi- where he died in 1942. Although exonerated by the Soviet
days pass by, then you begin to understand that beyond the ality of things collected. This very insight supplied him It is not easy to reconstruct how Haslund-Christensen be- Union in 1956, his remarkable work written in Russian
remystique of the nomads is more than the sentimentality of with data for his ethnographic writing that served aspira- came one of Denmark’s great men. One thing is a person mained largely unknown to Western scholars until British
the moment, and that all the seemingly accidental events tions beyond scholarly recognition or national fame. The with thirst for adventure, a good comrade, clever at all kinds anthropologist David Sneath brought these to attention in
are perceived as sustainable and meaningful factors in the distinction between the collector’s role and that of the pro- of work, charming, sound and strong, and absolutely coura- 1999 and onwards. Another important Russian scholarly
nomads’ lives – that all what you only sense is an expression cessor of the collected at the museum (to which we shall geous. Another thing is whether this person is of the kind, contributor to the study of the Mongols was Aleksei M.
of a force which leads the nomads from cradle to grave, return in chapter 4), was inscribed in the academic practice whose efforts leave lasting trace. And yet, all these qualities Pozdneev (1851-1920) whose early travels in the area in the
which guards the family life, keeps the clan together and of the day. Like so many professional travellers before and are not enough (1949, 1-2). 1890s laid the ground for a significant work on the
Mongoverns the history of the tribe (Haslund-Christensen 1945, after him, Haslund regarded the communication of his ex- gols in 1898, only translated into English in 1975.
143). periences via books, articles and public lectures as a profes- Human qualities, obviously, required founding, experience The first Americans arrived in the 1920s; some were
sion, from which he could derive an income, and among and challenges, according to Nielsen. Such requirements news reporters interested in the political changes
happenThe force he is referring to stems from the power of the the many honorary titles bestowed on him through the were met with Haslund’s entry into Mongolia as member ing in Inner Asia, some were adventures, while some came
narratives told and retold around the bon fires, stories and years, he preferably called himself a writer (Edelberg & Fer- of a group of Danes with plans for establishing a farm. for professional reasons and with specific scientific pur -
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44 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1
An extraordinary meeting between
two renowned explorers of Inner
Asia in passing, in Urga: Russian
Pyotr Koslov and Swedish Sven
Hedin. As a gesture, the photo was
sent with greetings to Hedin from
Koslov, commemorating their
meeting on 23 November 1923.
SMVK & Sven Hedin Foundation.
poses. One of these was Roy Chapman Andrews, an Indiana few times, none of the others mentioned were known to
Jones type, who was sent out by the American Museum of him until many years later, when he studied their works.
Natural History to do studies in the Gobi Desert. Between When Mongolia shut her gate to foreign travelers in
1922 and 1928 Chapman Andrews led three large expedi- 1924, a number of Westerners ended up in Northern China.
tions, his most remarkable finds being of skeletons and This group of stranded – or expelled individuals from
Moneggs of early dinosaurs. Lesser known is the Wulsin Expe- golia proper – reported on the political situation to
instidition to the Northwest of China in 1923, organized by Janet tutions or media at home, including their “obligatory”
Elliot Wulsin and her husband Frederick Wulsin. It was journeys to Inner Mongolia, a region hitherto ignored by
funded by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Eth- foreigners. These included personalities as Swiss
photognology at Harvard University, where the couple’s many ex- rapher and writer Walter Bosshard, Canadian writer John
traordinary photographs and the predominantly natural Marquand, and German collector Paul Bangeter to
men17history collections are kept (Cabot 2005). Another reporter tion a few, who counted among Haslund’s acquaintances,
of Mongolian affairs was Owen Lattimore (1900-1989), a since the late 1920s.
legendary figure in the modern history of Mongolia and In the next chapter the point of departure is Outer
the Mongols. Raised in Shanghai by his American mission- Mongolia in the decades before the arrival of Haslund and
ary parents, Lattimore arrived in Mongolia in 1927 to em- the Danish emigrants. The account is pursued through the
bark on a one-year-journey into Chinese Turkestan. The historical backdrop in Mongolia – or from its frontiers –
journey, which was planned as a honey moon for him and where we follow the tracks of Scandinavian travellers and
his wife Eleanor, is described in The Desert Road to Turkestan their explorations of the region. With Haslund well in
(1929), which jumpstarted his career of writing on Inner place, I examine the social setting of “foreign devils” of
Asia, famous for his characteristic blend of narration and merchants, explorers, adventurers and missionaries – each
interpretation of life and politics. Except for Lattimore and with their own agendas in Mongolia – who became his
Chapman Andrews, whom Haslund met during the politi- friends, employers, and guides to his interactions with the
cally turbulent years of 1924-1927 as he crossed the Gobi a Mongols.
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44 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer chapter 1 chapter 1 henning haslund-christensen: explorer, collector and writer 45
An extraordinary meeting between
two renowned explorers of Inner
Asia in passing, in Urga: Russian
Pyotr Koslov and Swedish Sven
Hedin. As a gesture, the photo was
sent with greetings to Hedin from
Koslov, commemorating their
meeting on 23 November 1923.
SMVK & Sven Hedin Foundation.
poses. One of these was Roy Chapman Andrews, an Indiana few times, none of the others mentioned were known to
Haslund with friends, assistants and interpreters in front of Chagan Khure Sume, in late March 1939, a few days before his departure fromJones type, who was sent out by the American Museum of him until many years later, when he studied their works.
Mongolia. Photo: Werner Jacobsen, 1939.Natural History to do studies in the Gobi Desert. Between When Mongolia shut her gate to foreign travelers in
1922 and 1928 Chapman Andrews led three large expedi- 1924, a number of Westerners ended up in Northern China.
tions, his most remarkable finds being of skeletons and This group of stranded – or expelled individuals from Mon- indigenous peop les of Siberia from the widow cated in the ESBA archive; supplementary and
noter of the German explorer Eugen Alexander and special documents are found in the Halfdan
eggs of early dinosaurs. Lesser known is the Wulsin Expe- golia proper – reported on the political situation to
instidonated it to the National Museum. It compris- Siiger Ar chive and the Klaus Ferdinand Archive,1. Collected among 190,000 contributors, cf.
dition to the Northwest of China in 1923, organized by Janet tutions or media at home, including their “obligatory” es c. 1200 objects. both located at Moesgaard Museum. TheNicolaisen 2001, 210
ethnographic objects collected on both expedi-8. Unpublished lecture held at the Royal DanishElliot Wulsin and her husband Frederick Wulsin. It was journeys to Inner Mongolia, a region hitherto ignored by 2. Schomberg 1949, 7.
tions are divided between the National Muse-Geographical Society on December 7, 1937.
3. Haslund suffered from high blood pressurefunded by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Eth- foreigners. These included personalities as Swiss photog- um and Moesgaard Museum. ESBA.
which finally caused cerebral complications.
16. For a short biography of A.D. Simukov, see nology at Harvard University, where the couple’s many ex- rapher and writer Walter Bosshard, Canadian writer John 9. Ibid; op.cit.
4. Through its lifetime the Commission D. Badarch, R. A. Zilinskas & Peter J. Balint (eds)
10. “Confidential note”; n.d. (possibly 1942). traordinary photographs and the predominantly natural Marquand, and German collector Paul Bangeter to men- launched more than fifty expeditions to Green- 2003, xi-xiii.
ESBA.
17 land from 1883-1931 (Høiris 1986). history collections are kept (Cabot 2005). Another reporter tion a few, who counted among Haslund’s acquaintances, 17. See Schaffhausen 1990, 40-41 (re:Bosshard);
11. Led by archeologist Count Eigil Knuth and5. The Galathea 1 expedition around the world Bosshard 1952; Schauffhausen 1990, 60-67 (re:of Mongolian affairs was Owen Lattimore (1900-1989), a since the late 1920s. Ebbe Munck (cf. Grønnow & Jensen 2003). was primarily a diplomatic expedition (1846-48) Bangeter); John Marquand was a close friend of
12. The financial means of the foundation camelegendary figure in the modern history of Mongolia and In the next chapter the point of departure is Outer and brought back “a 1000 objects in 21 boxes” The Second Danish Expedition to Central Asia
from public sale of 8 mill. American and British(Jensen 1992, 319) to the Ethnographic Depart- in the spring of 1939. He is also a well-knownthe Mongols. Raised in Shanghai by his American mission- Mongolia in the decades before the arrival of Haslund and
cigarettes to a minor overprize from 1945 toment – as one of the many other purposes of writer of popular crime thrillers from the area,
ary parents, Lattimore arrived in Mongolia in 1927 to em- the Danish emigrants. The account is pursued through the 1947 and amounted to 1, 2 mill DKK. Of thisthe expedition, whereas the Galathea 2 brought the so-called Mr. Moto series.
amount Haslund received 100,000 DKK for hisback c. 417 objects, and the Galathea 3 c. 80 ob-bark on a one-year-journey into Chinese Turkestan. The historical backdrop in Mongolia – or from its frontiers –
third expedition (Nielsen 2009, 43). jects of ethnographic provenance. From the a. For the transcriptions and translations of
journey, which was planned as a honey moon for him and where we follow the tracks of Scandinavian travellers and land-based projects of the Galathea 3, consider- 13. Politiken, 17 December 1947. ESBA. Haslund’s seal, I am indebted to Mongolist Veronika
able numbers of specimen were brought inhis wife Eleanor, is described in The Desert Road to Turkestan their explorations of the region. With Haslund well in 14. Klaus Ferdinand’s draught for the Henning Kapiˇ sovská and Tibetologist Daniel Berounsky.
from Ghana and Tranquebar (Tamil Nadu). Haslund-Christensen Memorial Expedition, According to Kapiˇ sovská the spelling of “raslang” is(1929), which jumpstarted his career of writing on Inner place, I examine the social setting of “foreign devils” of
6. The inscriptions comprise a Chinese text and dated December 6, 1952. The visions for extend- either incorrect or a very old form, as well as the
Asia, famous for his characteristic blend of narration and merchants, explorers, adventurers and missionaries – each a proto-Turkish text; the latter was deciphered ed research in the region were duly dedicated spelling in Tibetan of seng gis for lion should be seng
by Thomsen and revealed a content of highly to Haslund-Christensen. Klaus Ferdinand ge, according to Berounsky. interpretation of life and politics. Except for Lattimore and with their own agendas in Mongolia – who became his
historical importance (Meyer 1989). Achive, Moesgaard. b. Cf. Birket-Smith 1962; Edelberg & Ferdinand 1958;
Chapman Andrews, whom Haslund met during the politi- friends, employers, and guides to his interactions with the
7. In 1929 Knud Rasmussen purchased the pri- 15. The documents of the Third Danish Expedi- Larsen 1972; Høris 1986; Hastrup 2004.
vate collection of objects from a number ofcally turbulent years of 1924-1927 as he crossed the Gobi a Mongols. tion to Central Asia is first and foremost lo -
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Chapter 2
Haslund at Hodjertai-gol, the first camp of the Sino-Swedish expedition. All 289 camels were finally gathered and ready to be loaded
on 14 July 1927 and the journey could begin. From 1927-1930 Haslund worked as caravan-and-camp manager for Sven Hedin during his
Sino-Swedish expedition. Photo: Paul Lieberentz, 1927. SMVK & Sven Hedin Foundation.
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47
Chapter 2 Scandinavian Explorers in Mongolia
1 Haslund at Hodjertai-gol, the first camp of the Sino-Swedish expedition. All 289 camels were finally gathered and ready to be loaded Mongolia – the vast land area situated between Russia and like Johann Plano Carpini and Wilhelm von Rubruk, who
on 14 July 1927 and the journey could begin. From 1927-1930 Haslund worked as caravan-and-camp manager for Sven Hedin during his China – was practically unknown to Scan dinavians before had travelled the region in the mid-1200s, followed later
Sino-Swedish expedition. Photo: Paul Lieberentz, 1927. SMVK & Sven Hedin Foundation.
1900. A few reports from individual travellers in the 1700s by Marco Polo, whose vivid chronicles are from the last
had provided extra ordinary insights into the country’s geo - quarter of the same century. The three had been sent out
graphy and population, but these had long been for gotten. as emissaries of European courts and papal authorities to
Likewise forgotten were the legendary mediaeval sources report on the Mongols in their homeland – on the hordes
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48 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2
The front-page ofthat had reached the borders of Europe in 1241, and whose
Danish physicianextraordinary military expan sion through Asia left traces
Hans S. Kaarsberg’sof great political and cultural power. With the demise of
account of his
2 the era of the Great Khan in the late 1300s, however,
Monjourney across the
golia soon disappeared from the world’s political scene and
Russian steppes
was absorbed first by the Ming and later the Qing Chinese
and his stay
imperial-dynastic realms. In the words of Walther Heissig: among the
“The politically tainted mediaeval image of the Mongols Kalmyks in 1892.
gradually languished into travesty. The great powers of The title reads in
English: Across theRussia and China turned the former ruling Mongols into
Steppes and amonghelpless clients, and the West forgot all about them” (1989a,
the Kalmyks on
7-9).
Horseback and by
Troika.
Accounts from the frontier
Our contemporary knowledge of Mongolia, and the
development of relations between Mongolia and Scandinavia,
took their beginning in the late 1800s. The history of these
relationships was rooted in the European mercantile
expansion in the East and was moulded by the thinking of
3 the Enlightenment. This was a time of discovery and ex- the Mongols by their confederated name the Oirat. Their
ploration which anticipated the industrial revolution in homeland was Ili in the vast steppe region south west of
most European countries, most definitely so in Scandi- the Altai Mountains in East Turke stan, in present-day
Xin4 navia. Early contacts went via Russia, which was consid- jiang. Pallas did not actually go to Ili, but to the location in
ered the most progressive vehicle for European expansion southern Russia on the steppes between the rivers Don and
at the time; the first reports on Mongolia proper were thus Volga, where the Oirat had settled after a long exodus from
testimonies from the Russian frontier. Ili in 1636. In 1771 about 200,000 of them returned to their
The growing European trade interest in Russia in the native land, while approximately 66,000 remained in
Rusearly 1700s and subsequent explorations of the frontier sia. This group was the object of Pallas’ studies, and some
ar eas in Siberia gave way to studies of Mongolia to investi- hundred and twenty years later a Danish physician by the
gate possible access to trade routes to China via Russia. To name of Hans S. Kaarsberg (1854-1929) visited the
settlepromote awareness of the riches of her country to Euro- ment on his journey across the Russian steppes. His
obserpeans, the Empress Catherine II and the Russian Academy vations were published in Danish in 1892 as Gennem
Stepper5 of Sciences engaged German scholars to participate in ex- ne og blandt Kalmykkerne til Hest og med Trespand. From that
peditions to the remote corners of the Empire. Among journey Kaarsberg brought 27 Kalmyk objects to the Danish
these was the Berliner physician Peter Simon Pallas (1741- National Museum, founding the earliest collection of
Mon61811), who participated in expeditions between 1720 and golian objects in Denmark.
1774 and reported his observations and finds to the Acade- Early Scandinavian reports on the Oirat also stem from
my, from which they were circulated to learned societies in Swedish officers, who were taken prisoner along with
Europe (Heissig 1989b, 101-103). From the late 1770s on, fa- Finnish soldiers after the defeat to Russia of the Swedish
miliarity with Mongolian culture and history, in Scandi- Karl XII at Poltawa in 1709; they later came into contact
navia as in other parts of Europe, was promoted by Pallas’ with the Oirat. One of the Swedish officers, J. G. Renat,
seminal work, Sammlung von Historichen Nachrichten über die spent 17 years as a privileged prisoner among the local
nomongolischen Völkerschaften, published between 1776 and 1801, bility (Aalto 1989, 95). Upon his release in 1733, he returned
a comprehensive monograph, with abundant copperplate to Sweden, accompanied by four Oirats. He brought back
illustrations, on the West Mongolian tribe known in Eu- reports and remarkable insights into the lives and
organirope as the Kalmyks, the Dzungarians or the Ölet, and by zation of the tribe, as well as ethnographic objects and local
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The front-page of The late Khatun of thethat had reached the borders of Europe in 1241, and whose
Danish physician Torguts, photo graphed byextraordinary military expan sion through Asia left traces
Hans S. Kaarsberg’s Finnish-Swedish Field Mar-of great political and cultural power. With the demise of
account of his shal C. G. Mannerheim, who
2 the era of the Great Khan in the late 1300s, however,
Monjourney across the in 1906-1908 was on a
misgolia soon disappeared from the world’s political scene and
Russian steppes sion through Central Asia for
was absorbed first by the Ming and later the Qing Chinese
and his stay the Russian general-staff. In
imperial-dynastic realms. In the words of Walther Heissig: among the 1907 he visited the Torgut
“The politically tainted mediaeval image of the Mongols Kalmyks in 1892. Mongols at Khara Shar
(pregradually languished into travesty. The great powers of The title reads in sent Yanqi), some 20 years
English: Across the before Haslund, who stayedRussia and China turned the former ruling Mongols into
Steppes and among among the same group overhelpless clients, and the West forgot all about them” (1989a,
the Kalmyks on a period of six months and
7-9).
Horseback and by became well acquainted with
Troika. the Khatun’s son, Sin Chin
Gegen. Photo: C. G. Manner-Accounts from the frontier
heim, 1907.
Our contemporary knowledge of Mongolia, and the
development of relations between Mongolia and Scandinavia,
took their beginning in the late 1800s. The history of these
relationships was rooted in the European mercantile
expansion in the East and was moulded by the thinking of
3 the Enlightenment. This was a time of discovery and ex- the Mongols by their confederated name the Oirat. Their
ploration which anticipated the industrial revolution in homeland was Ili in the vast steppe region south west of
most European countries, most definitely so in Scandi- the Altai Mountains in East Turke stan, in present-day
Xin4 navia. Early contacts went via Russia, which was consid- jiang. Pallas did not actually go to Ili, but to the location in
ered the most progressive vehicle for European expansion southern Russia on the steppes between the rivers Don and
at the time; the first reports on Mongolia proper were thus Volga, where the Oirat had settled after a long exodus from maps of the area (cf. Wahlquist 2002, 24-29). His extraordi- phered by the Danish philologist Vilhelm Thomsen in 1893.
testimonies from the Russian frontier. Ili in 1636. In 1771 about 200,000 of them returned to their nary story is told in Haslund’s book Zajagan (1935, 122-127) From the early 1900s on, the philologist and explorer J.
The growing European trade interest in Russia in the native land, while approximately 66,000 remained in Rus- where the inclusion of Renat’s account contributes to the Ramstedt and his students conducted studies in Mongolia,
early 1700s and subsequent explorations of the frontier sia. This group was the object of Pallas’ studies, and some author’s reconstruction of the history of the Torgut, one of securing the continuation of studies in Finland of
Mongoar eas in Siberia gave way to studies of Mongolia to investi- hundred and twenty years later a Danish physician by the the four confederated Oirat tribes. A similar experience was lian language, folklore and archaeology (ibid., 99-100).
gate possible access to trade routes to China via Russia. To name of Hans S. Kaarsberg (1854-1929) visited the settle- reported by one of the Finnish prisoners of war, Ph. J. von When the famous Swedish-Finnish explorer C. G.
Mannerpromote awareness of the riches of her country to Euro- ment on his journey across the Russian steppes. His obser- Strahlenberg, who spent 13 years as a cartographer in heim (1867-1951) – later Interim Regent of Finland – plan -
peans, the Empress Catherine II and the Russian Academy vations were published in Danish in 1892 as Gennem Stepper- Siberia. On his return to Finland in 1730 he published a ned his journey through Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang in
5 of Sciences engaged German scholars to participate in ex- ne og blandt Kalmykkerne til Hest og med Trespand. From that Kalmyk-Mongolian dictionary along with comprehensive 1906-1908, it was Ramstedt who offered him practical
adpeditions to the remote corners of the Empire. Among journey Kaarsberg brought 27 Kalmyk objects to the Danish geographical reports. Early accounts from Mongolia proper vice and the Finno-Ugrian Society which financed his
colthese was the Berliner physician Peter Simon Pallas (1741- National Museum, founding the earliest collection of Mon- came from the Swedish-Finnish Erik Laxman, who took up lecting activities. In reality Mannerheim, as an officer in
61811), who participated in expeditions between 1720 and golian objects in Denmark. a position as a minister of the church in Siberia around the Russian Army, was sent on a mission to assess the
Chi1774 and reported his observations and finds to the Acade- Early Scandinavian reports on the Oirat also stem from 1770. From there he went on long excursions into northern nese military power in the region. To cover up his true
mismy, from which they were circulated to learned societies in Swedish officers, who were taken prisoner along with Mongolia and communicated with European scholars sion Mannerheim was instructed to travel as an explorer
Europe (Heissig 1989b, 101-103). From the late 1770s on, fa- Finnish soldiers after the defeat to Russia of the Swedish about the results of his studies of Mongolian and Tibetan. and collector of scientific material (Lahdentausta et al.
miliarity with Mongolian culture and history, in Scandi- Karl XII at Poltawa in 1709; they later came into contact Other Finnish scholars followed suit, but from the mid- 1999, 8; Varjola 1999, 64). The archaeological and
ethnonavia as in other parts of Europe, was promoted by Pallas’ with the Oirat. One of the Swedish officers, J. G. Renat, 1800s it was M. A. Castrén whose comprehensive studies graphic objects collected by Mannerheim now reside in the
seminal work, Sammlung von Historichen Nachrichten über die spent 17 years as a privileged prisoner among the local no- in Mongolia laid the basis for future Finnish philologists National Museum (Museum of Cultures) in Helsinki,
Finmongolischen Völkerschaften, published between 1776 and 1801, bility (Aalto 1989, 95). Upon his release in 1733, he returned and for the establishment of the Finno-Ugrian Society in land; among these are fifty everyday objects from the small
a comprehensive monograph, with abundant copperplate to Sweden, accompanied by four Oirats. He brought back 1883 (Alto 1989, 99). The Society launched various expedi- group of Torgut Mongols of Khara Shar in Xinjiang, visited
illustrations, on the West Mongolian tribe known in Eu- reports and remarkable insights into the lives and organi- tions to Mongolia, the earlier of which were dedicated to by Mannerheim in 1907, and an object of study for Haslund
rope as the Kalmyks, the Dzungarians or the Ölet, and by zation of the tribe, as well as ethnographic objects and local the study of the Orkhon inscriptions, eventually deci- some twenty years later.
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50 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2
Mongolian caravan outside Urga in 1922, photographed by Danish telegrapher K. A. Albertsen who was on a maintenance mission through
Mongolia to repair the telegraph-line, built by the Danish company The Great Northern and completed in 1899. Photo: K. A. Albertsen, 1922.
With regard to Norwegian-Mongolian relations, infor- happen over land and not like earlier from the sea”.
Consemation on Mongolia in the early twentieth century came quently, the main object of Potanin’s expedition, we learn
from two sources: a Norwegian botanical expedition sent from Emil Hansen, was to obtain information on
Mongoto the Siberian-Mongo lian frontier in 1914; and the mis- lia’s production and trade with China, and on the prospects
sionaries of the American-Norwegian mission in Urga. of improving the Russian trade in the area. “Scientifically”,
By the mid-1800s Russian expeditions to Mongolia had Emil Hansen continues, “the ethnographic investigations
been intensified, now under the auspices of the Imperial need our full attention […] in regard to the different
indigeRussian Geographical Society, which hosted more than nous peoples to be visited along the routes: among these
thirty well-equipped expeditions during the last quarter of the Mongols, the Kalmyks, and the Djugarians etc.” (ibid.).
the century (Nekljudov 1989, 89-94). The launching and The travel accounts from these expeditions, along with the
travels of the expeditions were eagerly studied by learned scientific reports from A. M. Pozdneev and P. K. Kozlov, and
societies all over Europe. Thus, in the first issue of the jour- later that of B. Vladimirstov, were read by scientists and
nal of the Danish Geographical Society, published in 1877, commercial institutions as well, and became influential to
a letter from a Danish telegrapher, Emil Hansen, in Omsk European expeditions and other travellers to the region.
depicts the situation in Siberia: “Besides the various expe- The contributions of these explorers to early Mongolian
ditions to northern Siberia where the Russians are racing studies are duly regarded as pioneering, as are the rich
colthe many foreigners, two Russian expeditions to China to lections brought back by them to the museum at the Rus -
investigate the northwestern part of Mongolia and Tibet sian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg.
have been launched this summer” (Hansen 1877, 44). The By the late 1800s knowledge of Mongolia relied on
acleaders of these expeditions, properly introduced to the counts such as the ones menti oned above, now
suppleDanish readers in Emil Hansen’s letter, were G. N. Potanin mented by reports from citizens living in Siberia and
and N. M. Przevalsky, both explorers of great renown. “The northern China, where many entrepreneurs and
businesstime is coming”, Hansen explains, “when China at large es had established themselves, as had Danish companies.
opens up to the European civilization. As we see it […] it will Up to the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, the relationship
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50 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2 chapter 2 scandinavian explorers in mongolia 51
The office of The Great Northern in Khiakta in Siberia, the end point of the Peking Khiakta telegraph line, initiated by the companyMongolian caravan outside Urga in 1922, photographed by Danish telegrapher K. A. Albertsen who was on a maintenance mission through
in the 1890s. Photo: K. A. Albertsen, 1922.Mongolia to repair the telegraph-line, built by the Danish company The Great Northern and completed in 1899. Photo: K. A. Albertsen, 1922.
With regard to Norwegian-Mongolian relations, infor- happen over land and not like earlier from the sea”. Conse- tween Russia and Denmark was characterized by strong between St. Petersburg and Vladivostok with connecting
economic interests. The need for better integration of the lines from China and Japan respectively (Kamp, Hansen &mation on Mongolia in the early twentieth century came quently, the main object of Potanin’s expedition, we learn
from two sources: a Norwegian botanical expedition sent from Emil Hansen, was to obtain information on Mongo- vast and heterogeneous empire caused the Russian state to Heinberg, 1950-51 III, 243-247; Jacobsen 1997). The first of
instigate enormous projects in agriculture, commerce, and these was successfully completed in 1872. The overland lineto the Siberian-Mongo lian frontier in 1914; and the mis- lia’s production and trade with China, and on the prospects
sionaries of the American-Norwegian mission in Urga. of improving the Russian trade in the area. “Scientifically”, communica tions; a development in which Danish compa- from Peking to Khiakta, inaugurated in 1893, ran through
nies participated, with particular success in Siberia (Jensen Mongolia, an entrepreneurial activity which brought theBy the mid-1800s Russian expeditions to Mongolia had Emil Hansen continues, “the ethnographic investigations
been intensified, now under the auspices of the Imperial need our full attention […] in regard to the different indige- 1993, 241-261; Jensen 1979, 45-57; Sohn 2002; Larsen 2007). company – and Mongolia proper – into the picture in earn -
The Danish companies operated on many different fronts est. Delayed by the Sino-Japanese war in 1894 and the dev-Russian Geographical Society, which hosted more than nous peoples to be visited along the routes: among these
7 thirty well-equipped expeditions during the last quarter of the Mongols, the Kalmyks, and the Djugarians etc.” (ibid.). and with large investments, and included the Siberian astations which this caused, the line was completed in
Company (dairies and dairy production equipment), F. L. 1899. The work was headed by the Danish engineer H. C.the century (Nekljudov 1989, 89-94). The launching and The travel accounts from these expeditions, along with the
travels of the expeditions were eagerly studied by learned scientific reports from A. M. Pozdneev and P. K. Kozlov, and Smidth (cement and construction), the East Asiatic Com- Schiern (1853-1917). Initially employed by the Great
Northpany (shipping), the Transatlantic Company and the Rus - ern in China in 1884, Schiern was transferred to the Chi-societies all over Europe. Thus, in the first issue of the jour- later that of B. Vladimirstov, were read by scientists and
nal of the Danish Geographical Society, published in 1877, commercial institutions as well, and became influential to sian Trading Company (goods). Most of the trade was han- nese Telegraph Administration, from which he took charge
8dled from Denmark, but it is estimated that by 1917 some of all land-lines in Manchuria, Korea, and northern China.a letter from a Danish telegrapher, Emil Hansen, in Omsk European expeditions and other travellers to the region.
depicts the situation in Siberia: “Besides the various expe- The contributions of these explorers to early Mongolian 2000-2500 Danish men and women had settled in Siberia. The stretch of 1658 km was laid out with fifteen poles per
Some companies planned to extend their business into kilometre and ran over hilly steppes, through the Gobiditions to northern Siberia where the Russians are racing studies are duly regarded as pioneering, as are the rich
colthe many foreigners, two Russian expeditions to China to lections brought back by them to the museum at the Rus - Mongolia with butcheries, fur companies, dairies, etc. Desert, over mountain terrains and came to mark out the
(Kamp, Hansen & Heinberg 1950-51 III, 284). overland road used ever since by travellers, including theinvestigate the northwestern part of Mongolia and Tibet sian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg.
have been launched this summer” (Hansen 1877, 44). The By the late 1800s knowledge of Mongolia relied on ac- The Danish East Asiatic Company (ØK), present in Asia early Danish explorers, between Peking and the Mongolian
from the late 1800s on, and the Danish Great Northern capital Urga. leaders of these expeditions, properly introduced to the counts such as the ones menti oned above, now
suppleDanish readers in Emil Hansen’s letter, were G. N. Potanin mented by reports from citizens living in Siberia and Telegraph Company, worked on both frontiers in Russia The employees of these companies, particularly the
and China. The Great Northern obtained concessions from Great Northern, regularly reported their observations fromand N. M. Przevalsky, both explorers of great renown. “The northern China, where many entrepreneurs and
businesstime is coming”, Hansen explains, “when China at large es had established themselves, as had Danish companies. the Russian state in 1869 – and from China in the fol low - their stations on the Mongolian frontiers to the Danish
ing year – to complete the already-started telegraph line public in newspapers and in the Journal of the Royal Dan-opens up to the European civilization. As we see it […] it will Up to the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, the relationship
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52 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2
The Great Northern’s telegraph poles ran across the steppe
throughout Inner and Outer Mongolia.
In 1922 the telegraph line across Mongolia was managed by the
Chinese Telegraph Administration. In the wake of the political
turmoil after Mongolia claimed its independence in 1911, the line was
demolished first by Chinese soldiers then by White Russians and
many poles had to be replaced. Photos: K. A. Albertsen, 1922.
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52 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2 chapter 2 scandinavian explorers in mongolia 53
Danish telegraphers Harboe and Langebæk, both employed at the telegraph station in Urga,
in the company of two Khalkh ladies. Like Albertsen, Langebæk enjoyed taking photos of the
local population, a fair number of which is kept in the Danish National Museum’s archives.
Photo: n.n. Langebæk, 1921-1922.
Telegrapher K.A.Albertsen in his well-packed car ready for the repair-mission in 1922.
Photo: K.A.Albertsen, 1922.
The Great Northern’s telegraph poles ran across the steppe
throughout Inner and Outer Mongolia.
In 1922 the telegraph line across Mongolia was managed by the
Chinese Telegraph Administration. In the wake of the political
turmoil after Mongolia claimed its independence in 1911, the line was
demolished first by Chinese soldiers then by White Russians and
many poles had to be replaced. Photos: K. A. Albertsen, 1922.
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54 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2
ish Geographical Society, as was the case with the earlier Siberia – otherwise best known as Russia’s prison camp for
mentioned letters from Emil Hansen in Omsk. Browsing criminals and dissidents – was praised for its abundance of
through the issues of the Society’s journal from around the natural minerals. Its forests and game and the prospects
turn of the century, among the otherwise dominant Polar- for trade, industry, and agriculture were emphasized.
Alexploration subjects one finds regular reports from China though “scientifically” oriented towards the conventional
and Siberia written by the staff of Danish enterprises. The geographical knowledge advocated by the Society, these
ararticles differ from the usual reports on scientific travel and ticles tend overtly towards the trends of the time: growing
exploration in their enthusiastic promotion of the region. international trade and subsequent industrial expansion
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54 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2 chapter 2 scandinavian explorers in mongolia 55
A Khalkh family outside sion for presenting Danish readers with more thorough
their yurt near the capi- information on the country; but, he argued, one had to be
tal of Outer Mongolia, critical of the existing sources:
Urga. “It is a strange
state, Khalkha
MongoThere exist various older and more recent, particularly
lia”, writes Danish tele -
Russian, travel accounts of Mongolia, and in these the
readgrapher Alfred Schöne -
ers will find interesting pictures of the scenery of the coun-beck. “It is the only one
try, the customs and manners of the peoples, their religionin the world that has no
perma nent settlements and culture, etc. Mongolia as an entity, however, is still
unand no cities. The Mon- known territory. The various expeditions that have
penegols live the nomadic trated over time its inner areas, have only reported on the
life in small parties all
road they themselves have taken, and have therefore only
year round […] so no
managed to shine a faint sidelight on the darkness of the
villages arise” (1911 ,
290map […] Of the untraveled and remote areas one can only
291). “Khalkha” Mongolia
speak with great uncertainty. […] One aspect which almost
carried the name of the
all travellers have left out is the living conditions of the pop-dominant Mongolian
ulation, and yet these are worthy of our attention, as is thegroup in the region.
Photo: n. n. Langebæk, whole future destiny of Mongolia (Schönebeck 1912, 290).
c. 1922.
During the following decade knowledge of Mongolia and
its population grew as reports came from the increasing
number of Westerners, including Scandinavians, who
traversed the country on expeditions, as adventurers,
scientists, missionaries, merchants and entrepreneurs. In the
meantime, the declaration of independence in 1911 – one
year before the fall of the Qing Empire – had precipitated
Mongolia’s appearance on the global political scene: as a
buffer zone squeezed in between the expansionist powers
Russia, Japan, and China in the East, a development began
that brought radical changes to the political boundaries in
the entire region over the next four decades. Enormous
political changes had been sweeping over Inner Asia ever
since the mid-1800s and had initiated decades of political
crisis.
It was amidst this critical situation that a group of
Danish adventurers, including our protagonist, made their
appearance in 1923. Before we proceed with the account of
their extraordinary enterprise in Mongolia, we need to take
a look at the region they entered and recognize the effects
ish Geographical Society, as was the case with the earlier Siberia – otherwise best known as Russia’s prison camp for (Nielsen 1962, 13; Christiansen 2005, 59). The first article on of the colossal political changes that had been taking place
mentioned letters from Emil Hansen in Omsk. Browsing criminals and dissidents – was praised for its abundance of Mongolia proper to reach the Society’s readers appeared in since the early 1900s. The complex political turmoil
outthrough the issues of the Society’s journal from around the natural minerals. Its forests and game and the prospects 1911. It was written by Alfred Schönebeck, a regular con- lined below formed the backdrop for the group of Danish
turn of the century, among the otherwise dominant Polar- for trade, industry, and agriculture were emphasized. Al- tributor to the Geographical Journal between 1906 and pioneers who set out to claim a piece of Mongolia and turn
exploration subjects one finds regular reports from China though “scientifically” oriented towards the conventional 1914, stationed by the Great Northern in the Mongolian it into a Danish colony.
and Siberia written by the staff of Danish enterprises. The geographical knowledge advocated by the Society, these ar- border town, Khiakta, “the Siberian Venice”, as he called it
articles differ from the usual reports on scientific travel and ticles tend overtly towards the trends of the time: growing (1912, 289-298). Schönebeck considered Mongolia’s demand
exploration in their enthusiastic promotion of the region. international trade and subsequent industrial expansion for independence from China in 1911 an important
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56 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2
9Mongolia 1911-1924
ment spearheaded by Mongol feudal princes took advan-When Khalkha Mongolia claimed its independence from
China in 1911, the future of the country was uncertain. tage of the weakness of Imperial China and seized power
in Urga. Backed by the poor herders, the Buddhist ChurchSince 1644 Mongolia had been part of the Manchu (Qing)
Empire, which included all Mongolians living in the impe- and others who had long engaged in riots against the
Chinese in Urga and other big cities, they simply declaredrial territories north of China proper. The area most remote
from the seat of power in Peking was labelled Outer Mon- themselves indepen dent: on the throne they installed the
eighth Jebtsundamba Khutuktu – a living god and a rein-golia and covered roughly the territory of the present state
of Mongolia. The south-eastern region populated by Mon- carnation of a divine of Tibetan origin who by the age of
five had been recognized as a spiritual descendant ofgols was labelled Inner Mongolia and formed a narrow
crescent-shaped borderland, stretching from the north east Ghinggis Khan.
During the outbreak of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917,in Manchuria to Alashan in the south west. The Inner
Mongolian area is bounded in the north by the Gobi Desert the conservative Mongol princes grew nervous about the
politics of their Russian friends and turned back to Chinaand in the south by the Great Wall of China. In 1911 this
region counted a population of about one million agricultur- for help. However, Republican China had never stopped
claiming its right to all of Mongolia and subse quently sentalists and animal herders. Outer Mongolia’s much smaller
population, about 600,000 souls, lived mainly as herders military forces to Urga in 1919 to remove the Khutuktu
from the throne. In 1920, however, the Chinese soldiers hadon the open steppes.
Outer Mongolia was ruled by Mongol princes in hered- to return to China because of internal problems. In the
power vacuum that followed in Mongolia, the White Russ-itary offices and by representatives of the Buddhist Church
with a status equivalent to that of the princes. As a country ian Baron Ungern-Sternberg seized power in Urga with his
terrorizing army of fleeing White Russians and a few thou-subject to indirect rule it was relatively independent, but
ultimately it was controlled by Chinese governors. The sand sympathizers of mixed origin – Mongolians, Tibetans,
Japanese, and others – who expelled the remaining Chi-enormous area – the size of France and Germany combined
– was divided into four provinces, so-called aimags. Inner nese. Now followed a year of terror, until the Russians, that
is, the Bolsheviks, came to the rescue of Urga in 1921 andMongolia had a similar system of local princely rule, but
with far more constraints from the Manchu authorities, reinstalled the Khutuktu, who remained head of state until
his death in 1924. This event marked the year of the secondsince the region was subject to direct political control by a
succession of representatives of the imperial government Mongolian revolution. A treaty between the Soviet
Republic and the revolutionary regime in Mongolia was signedwho imposed various political restrictions.
During the 1900s economic exploitation, heavy taxa- in Moscow, securing Mongolian sovereignty in all national
matters and full Mongolian independence. In a Chinese-tion and the plans of the imperial authorities to colonize
the land of the herders stirred up strong anti-Chinese feel- Russian treaty of 1921, however, the Soviet regime declared
that “Outer Mongolia is an integral part of the Republic ofings. The Chinese Empire had itself gradually crumbled
11 from within after the Opium Wars in the middle of the China and respects China’s sovereignty therein”. But the
10 presence of Soviet Russia and its influence on Mongolian1800s. The ensuing epoch of Unequal Treaties forced
upon the nation by foreign powers brought the Empire to its politics continued throughout the next few decades. The
true masters in Mongolia were the Russians, despiteknees. Republican activities had been going on for some
time, and in October 1911 they finally led to the fall of the protests from the Chinese government.
According to the British mongolist Charles Bawden, theChinese Empire. Two months later, an independent
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56 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2 chapter 2 scandinavian explorers in mongolia 57
9Mongolia 1911-1924
ment spearheaded by Mongol feudal princes took advan- development of a socialist society took its beginning as 1904-1905 and led to a devastating and very humiliatingWhen Khalkha Mongolia claimed its independence from
China in 1911, the future of the country was uncertain. tage of the weakness of Imperial China and seized power “Mongolia underwent two distinct revolutions between defeat for the Russians, who were ousted from the Liodong
12 in Urga. Backed by the poor herders, the Buddhist Church 1911 and 1921. The first, which resulted in the declaration Peninsula. At this point the Japanese obtained access notSince 1644 Mongolia had been part of the Manchu (Qing)
Empire, which included all Mongolians living in the impe- and others who had long engaged in riots against the Chi- of independence, was essentially a nationalistic movement, only to the peninsula, but also to Korea, and eventually to
nese in Urga and other big cities, they simply declared aimed merely at the removal of Manchu authority. The se - China (Manchuria) in 1931. rial territories north of China proper. The area most remote
from the seat of power in Peking was labelled Outer Mon- themselves indepen dent: on the throne they installed the cond was inspired by the Russian example, was carried out In short, after the revolution of 1911, the Mongols
eighth Jebtsundamba Khutuktu – a living god and a rein- under Russian guidance and control, and was the prelude wanted to unite all their popula tions in the Inner and Out-golia and covered roughly the territory of the present state
of Mongolia. The south-eastern region populated by Mon- carnation of a divine of Tibetan origin who by the age of to a period of profound change” (1989, 189). er regions in one Mongolian nation. But in this the
Bolshefive had been recognized as a spiritual descendant of The wider geopolitical scenario was dominated by the viks were of no help; they continued to support the old di-gols was labelled Inner Mongolia and formed a narrow
crescent-shaped borderland, stretching from the north east Ghinggis Khan. power struggle that Russia had been waging with Japan visions and let the Chinese nationalist movement take
reDuring the outbreak of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, since the late 1800s to gain a foothold in the East, with sponsibility for Inner Mongolia. The Republican Chinesein Manchuria to Alashan in the south west. The Inner
Mongolian area is bounded in the north by the Gobi Desert the conservative Mongol princes grew nervous about the Mongolia providing a buffer zone between the two. The government for its part never stopped claiming all of
Monpolitics of their Russian friends and turned back to China treaty of 1860 gave Russia suzerainty over Mongolia, and golia; it insisted on the Chinese-Russian agreement of 1921and in the south by the Great Wall of China. In 1911 this
region counted a population of about one million agricultur- for help. However, Republican China had never stopped with the treaty of 1898 between Russia and China, Russia which secured Chinese sovereignty over Mongolia, leaving
claiming its right to all of Mongolia and subse quently sent gained a foothold in the Liodong Peninsula and laid claim Inner Mongolia as part of Repub lican China, as it is today.alists and animal herders. Outer Mongolia’s much smaller
population, about 600,000 souls, lived mainly as herders military forces to Urga in 1919 to remove the Khutuktu to the harbour at Port Arthur (Linshun). In 1924 Outer Mongolia was declared an independent
Peofrom the throne. In 1920, however, the Chinese soldiers had The Japanese for their part had been on the move on ple’s Republic – and along with Tannu Tuva became theon the open steppes.
Outer Mongolia was ruled by Mongol princes in hered- to return to China because of internal problems. In the the mainland since their suc cesses after the Sino-Japanese first states outside the Soviet Union to gain such a status.
power vacuum that followed in Mongolia, the White Russ- War in 1894-1895, when they had seized Formosa (Taiwan). In reality they were both satellite states under the Sovietitary offices and by representatives of the Buddhist Church
with a status equivalent to that of the princes. As a country ian Baron Ungern-Sternberg seized power in Urga with his The sudden Japanese attack on the Russian fleet in Port Union.
terrorizing army of fleeing White Russians and a few thou- Arthur in 1904 instigated the Japanese-Russian War ofsubject to indirect rule it was relatively independent, but
ultimately it was controlled by Chinese governors. The sand sympathizers of mixed origin – Mongolians, Tibetans,
Japanese, and others – who expelled the remaining Chi-enormous area – the size of France and Germany combined Street scene
– was divided into four provinces, so-called aimags. Inner nese. Now followed a year of terror, until the Russians, that from Urga
is, the Bolsheviks, came to the rescue of Urga in 1921 and with view toMongolia had a similar system of local princely rule, but
the Gandanwith far more constraints from the Manchu authorities, reinstalled the Khutuktu, who remained head of state until
monastery inhis death in 1924. This event marked the year of the secondsince the region was subject to direct political control by a
the horizon.
succession of representatives of the imperial government Mongolian revolution. A treaty between the Soviet
RepubPhoto: K. A.
lic and the revolutionary regime in Mongolia was signedwho imposed various political restrictions.
Albertsen,
During the 1900s economic exploitation, heavy taxa- in Moscow, securing Mongolian sovereignty in all national
1922.
matters and full Mongolian independence. In a Chinese-tion and the plans of the imperial authorities to colonize
the land of the herders stirred up strong anti-Chinese feel- Russian treaty of 1921, however, the Soviet regime declared
that “Outer Mongolia is an integral part of the Republic ofings. The Chinese Empire had itself gradually crumbled
11 from within after the Opium Wars in the middle of the China and respects China’s sovereignty therein”. But the
10 presence of Soviet Russia and its influence on Mongolian1800s. The ensuing epoch of Unequal Treaties forced
upon the nation by foreign powers brought the Empire to its politics continued throughout the next few decades. The
true masters in Mongolia were the Russians, despiteknees. Republican activities had been going on for some
time, and in October 1911 they finally led to the fall of the protests from the Chinese government.
According to the British mongolist Charles Bawden, theChinese Empire. Two months later, an independent
moveContents
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58 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2
Four Danish pioneers on their way to claim land in Uriankhai in North West Mongolia, in May 1923. They passed through the Chinese wall
in Kalgan with enormous loads of baggage for the coming farm experiment. With the help of “15 carts, an equal number of Chinese and
45 horses”, according to Carl Krebs, the leader and initiator of the project, they reached the capital Urga after 54 days. Photo: Carl Krebs, 1923.
The group of four Danes in the Chinese city Tiensien. From the left
is Carl Krebs, always referred to as “Chief”; Haslund, the youngest
nicknamed “Kiddi”; Tage Birck, nicknamed “Tot”; and finally Kaj
Borgstrøm, “the Buffalo”. The two remaining members, the farmer
Erik Isager and Carl’s brother Ove Krebs, joined the party later on.
Apart from the pioneering spirit and jovial tone of the group, their
project was a serious matter. A contract had been drawn up
beforeahand and each had invested the sum of DKK 5,000. The group had
been carefully composed with respect to a strict division of labour
with long preparation and training in Denmark, England and
America: Has lund, Birck and Isager had studied farming, Borgstrøm mer -
cantile relations, Ove Krebs mining and construction, while Carl
himself, with his intimate knowledge of the region and fluency in
Russian, was the organizer and principal figure vis-à-vis the
author ities. Photo: Carl Krebs, 1923.
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58 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2 chapter 2 scandinavian explorers in mongolia 59
the group later, Isager via Siberia and Ove from America.
A settlement in no-man’s-land
The destination was the vast region of Uriankhai in
northThe idea of emigrating to Mongolia and claiming a piece western Mongolia, more specifically a place called
Bulgunof land as a Danish colony was a vision fostered in the mind tal, south east of the great Lake Khövsgöl, near present day
13of the Danish officer Carl Krebs, and the first men he re- Erdenebulgan in Khövsgöl Province.
cruited for this enterprise were his soldier comrades from The party set out from Denmark on what they called
the military academy of the Royal Guards, from which an expedition; in reality it was an emigration project with
Krebs had graduated in 1916. Haslund, who graduated in the aim of establishing a farm in Mongolia. If they were
1918, along with Kaj Borgstrøm, likewise a lieutenant from successful, as they of course hoped to be, the experimental
the academy, were the first of the lucky five to finally ac- farm was to grow into a proper Danish settlement. The four
company Carl Krebs to Mongolia in 1923. The remaining men were pioneers in the exploration of the
frontierthree counted Tage Birck, a polytechnic engineer and Erik region and the economic potential of farming.
Isager, a farmer from Jutland and the only member with When Carl Krebs had presented his visions for a Danish
no military background. Carl’s elder brother Ove Krebs settlement in Mongolia in a lecture at the Royal
joined, also an engineer by profession. The last two joined Geo graphical Society in 1921, the project had been
extenFour Danish pioneers on their way to claim land in Uriankhai in North West Mongolia, in May 1923. They passed through the Chinese wall
in Kalgan with enormous loads of baggage for the coming farm experiment. With the help of “15 carts, an equal number of Chinese and
45 horses”, according to Carl Krebs, the leader and initiator of the project, they reached the capital Urga after 54 days. Photo: Carl Krebs, 1923.
The group of four Danes in the Chinese city Tiensien. From the left
is Carl Krebs, always referred to as “Chief”; Haslund, the youngest
nicknamed “Kiddi”; Tage Birck, nicknamed “Tot”; and finally Kaj
Borgstrøm, “the Buffalo”. The two remaining members, the farmer
Erik Isager and Carl’s brother Ove Krebs, joined the party later on.
Apart from the pioneering spirit and jovial tone of the group, their
project was a serious matter. A contract had been drawn up
beforeahand and each had invested the sum of DKK 5,000. The group had
been carefully composed with respect to a strict division of labour
with long preparation and training in Denmark, England and
America: Has lund, Birck and Isager had studied farming, Borgstrøm mer -
cantile relations, Ove Krebs mining and construction, while Carl
himself, with his intimate knowledge of the region and fluency in
Russian, was the organizer and principal figure vis-à-vis the
author ities. Photo: Carl Krebs, 1923.
Haslund’s map of the route of the Danish expedition from Kalgan to Bulguntal in the Uriankhai. The region was long considered a no-man’s
land. The boundary stones had been randomly placed in the Sajan Mountains; to this we can add the frontier squabbles in the “Great Game”
bfor Asia, which all made Uriankhai “more than ever a master-less land” (Haslund-Christensen 1932, 9-10).
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60 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2
A local herder’s family,
employed at the farm in
Bulguntal. Different Mongolian groups
lived in the area: Darhads,
Buriats and Khalkh, but also
many so-called Soyots
(Tuvenians) besides about 5,000 Rus -
sian and Chinese settlers.
Photo: Carl Krebs, 1923-1936.
sively covered by the press and hundreds of Danes had vol- sia from 1916 until 1922, primarily in Siberia and along the
unteered to join him. World War I was over, and while Dan- Russian-Mongolian border in “Transbal kalia”. Initially, Carl
ish neut rality had spared the country major suffering, the Krebs and his brother Ove Krebs had been sent out by the
war had left no European country unaffected, eco nomically Danish Foreign Ministry to look after the interests of
Aus14and otherwise. Except for a small elite that had made for- trian prisoners-of-war in Russia, a task given to the Danish
tunes producing goods for the belligerents, the economic Legation in Russia. Subsequently, Ove Krebs continued to
situation in Denmark was critical and unemployment was Peking in 1919 to take charge of the Danish Legation for one
high. The idea of migrating to Mongolia was embraced en- year, while Carl Krebs left for Siberia, where he joined the
thusiastically. The volunteers saw it as a possibility in line International Red Cross to do relief work in the prison
with the massive emigration that had gone on since the camps. During his stay, dramatically described in his
memturn of the century to the Americas and Siberia, the so- oirs (1937), he was able to travel throughout the region and
called “New America”. According to Krebs, the Danish im- around Lake Baikal several times; he spent long periods
migrants who had been thrown out of Siberia after the Bol- hunting in the vast forests and, like other travellers
menshevik Revolution were potential members of the project tioned, was struck by the wealth of natural resources and
in Uriankhai. Backed by plans for an enterprise involving the prospects for mining and farming in the area. On two
commerce, agricultural production and a research station, occa sions he travelled to Peking on matters relating to the
the project began to take form. With assistance from the relief work, and on these trips he traversed the 3000 km
Royal Danish Geographical Society and the Carlsberg Foun- “by horse, automobile, and rail” through Outer Mongolia
dation, which sponsored the equipment for various mete- to China. It was on these travels that he discovered the
ferorological observations, and a partly free voyage provided tile steppe region called Bulguntal – “the Sable Plain” – by
by ØK (the East Asiatic Company) the pioneers left Copen - the local population, situated south east of Lake Khövsgöl
15by the river Egiin gol inside Mongolia proper.hagen on 18 March 1923 to board MS Malaya in Amsterdam, According
bound for Shanghai. to legend, the region around Bulguntal was considered
Carl Krebs (1889-1971) knew the region well. Originally “lost land”. In Krebs’ words “the area appeared to enjoy an
trained as a physician, he chose a military career and grad- unoccupied indepen dence, and was a place where a certain
uated from the Academy of the Royal Guards in 1916, as “plasticity” reigned, as in many other areas during the days
mentioned earlier. After his military service Krebs travelled of the revolution; in other words a place fit for our project”
and worked extensively in Russia. In the aftermath of the (1937, 106).
Revolution he experienced the early years of the rising The total area of Uriankhai according to Krebs was
Soviet Union. With little interruption he remained in Rus- about 2000 sq km, located between the mountain ranges
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60 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2 chapter 2 scandinavian explorers in mongolia 61
A local herder’s family, em- A first meeting on the steppe
ployed at the farm in Bulgun- between the Danes and the
tal. Different Mongolian groups Mongols! The finely dressed
lived in the area: Darhads, couple on horseback and their
Buriats and Khalkh, but also entourage are obviously local
many so-called Soyots (Tuveni- Chahar Mongols of the very
ans) besides about 5,000 Rus - land the Danes had just
ensian and Chinese settlers. tered. Photo: Carl Krebs, 1923.
Photo: Carl Krebs, 1923-1936.
sively covered by the press and hundreds of Danes had vol- sia from 1916 until 1922, primarily in Siberia and along the Sajan to the north and Tannu-Ola to the south. To the east, latest political developments in Urga was given to them by
16 17 unteered to join him. World War I was over, and while Dan- Russian-Mongolian border in “Transbal kalia”. Initially, Carl where the two ranges diverge, the large Lake Khövsgöl A. Bollerup-Sørensen and K. A. Albertsen, both tele graph -
ish neut rality had spared the country major suffering, the Krebs and his brother Ove Krebs had been sent out by the forms a natural border. With its rich water sources and ists of the company with special field experience from Urga.
war had left no European country unaffected, eco nomically Danish Foreign Ministry to look after the interests of Aus- wide steppes, this place was ideal for agriculture and cattle The journey to Urga had initially been planned as an
14and otherwise. Except for a small elite that had made for- trian prisoners-of-war in Russia, a task given to the Danish farming, and the forested mountains were rich in game automobile caravan, and 80 cars had been ordered to carry
tunes producing goods for the belligerents, the economic Legation in Russia. Subsequently, Ove Krebs continued to with furs that were rated among the finest in the world the enormous load of equipment. In the end an alternative,
situation in Denmark was critical and unemployment was Peking in 1919 to take charge of the Danish Legation for one and fetched high prices at auction houses in the West. far less expen sive solution was chosen: they hired “15 carts,
high. The idea of migrating to Mongolia was embraced en- year, while Carl Krebs left for Siberia, where he joined the According to Krebs, the Uriankhai region was approxi- an equal number of Chinese and 45 horses” (Krebs 1937,
thusiastically. The volunteers saw it as a possibility in line International Red Cross to do relief work in the prison mately the size of France and comprised a population of 100) to transport the agricultural machinery – ploughs,
with the massive emigration that had gone on since the camps. During his stay, dramatically described in his mem- 50,000 – primarily local Darhad (or Darkhat) Mongols, Soy- churns, centrifuges, harvesters, hunt ing gear, kitchen
turn of the century to the Americas and Siberia, the so- oirs (1937), he was able to travel throughout the region and ots (Tuvenians) and Buriyat (Mongols), about 5,000 Russian utensils and the scientific apparatus donated by the
Carlscalled “New America”. According to Krebs, the Danish im- around Lake Baikal several times; he spent long periods settlers and some Chinese. Krebs had attempted to obtain berg Foundation. One of the people waving goodbye on 14
migrants who had been thrown out of Siberia after the Bol- hunting in the vast forests and, like other travellers men- concessions for parts of the area belonging to the Russians, July was Frans August Larson, a Swedish merchant
origishevik Revolution were potential members of the project tioned, was struck by the wealth of natural resources and but despite close connections in the top ranks of the Russ- nally sent to China in 1893 as a missionary. Larson was
in Uriankhai. Backed by plans for an enterprise involving the prospects for mining and farming in the area. On two ian Revolution, these had been refused several times. Now something of a local celebrity, not only because of his
mulcommerce, agricultural production and a research station, occa sions he travelled to Peking on matters relating to the he opted for the eastern plains on the Mongolian side and tiple business talents, but equally for his successful
assisthe project began to take form. With assistance from the relief work, and on these trips he traversed the 3000 km hoped for cooperation from the authorities in Urga, the tance on the British Consul C. W. Campbell’s expedition to
Royal Danish Geographical Society and the Carlsberg Foun- “by horse, automobile, and rail” through Outer Mongolia capital of the recently independent Mongolia. north-eastern Mongolia in 1902, and his participation in
dation, which sponsored the equipment for various mete- to China. It was on these travels that he discovered the fer- One month after they had set foot in Shanghai, Krebs the American Natural History Museum’s Third Central
orological observations, and a partly free voyage provided tile steppe region called Bulguntal – “the Sable Plain” – by and his men found themselves in Kalgan (Zhangjiakou) the Asian Expedition (1922-1923) led by Roy Chapman
An18 by ØK (the East Asiatic Company) the pioneers left Copen - the local population, situated south east of Lake Khövsgöl frontier town between China and Inner Mongolia and an drews; for his fluency in Mongolian and Chinese; and for
15by the river Egiin gol inside Mongolia proper.hagen on 18 March 1923 to board MS Malaya in Amsterdam, According important stop on the old land route between Khiakta and his first-class knowledge of Mongol affairs. In 1920 he was
bound for Shanghai. to legend, the region around Bulguntal was considered Peking; as such it was a suitable starting point for their fur- honoured for his role as an adviser to the Mongolian
reCarl Krebs (1889-1971) knew the region well. Originally “lost land”. In Krebs’ words “the area appeared to enjoy an ther journey. Since their arrival they had moved north- gent, the Khutuktu, on Mongolian-Chinese relations
durtrained as a physician, he chose a military career and grad- unoccupied indepen dence, and was a place where a certain wards and passed Tiensien and Peking. Everywhere they ing the turbulent years in the wake of the country’s
indeuated from the Academy of the Royal Guards in 1916, as “plasticity” reigned, as in many other areas during the days relied on the help of the network of Danish expatriates, es- pen dence. For his services he was granted the noble title
mentioned earlier. After his military service Krebs travelled of the revolution; in other words a place fit for our project” pecially those on the staff of the Great Northern, who had Gün (Gung), which according to tradition allowed him to
19and worked extensively in Russia. In the aftermath of the (1937, 106). guided them through the local bureaucracy and enter- be addressed as La Gün, Larson Duke of Mongolia. Larson
Revolution he experienced the early years of the rising The total area of Uriankhai according to Krebs was tained them with series of dinner parties and tennis had business in Urga and was expected to receive the party
Soviet Union. With little interruption he remained in Rus- about 2000 sq km, located between the mountain ranges matches (Krebs 1922). Detailed critical information on the on their arrival, and to assist them further.
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62 scandinavian explorers in mongolia chapter 2
The Swede Frans August Larson became a
valuable contact for the Danes, as he was
for many other Westerners in Mongolia
including Roy Chapman Andrews, on whose
expedition Larson was a member for a
number of years. Larson stands to the right
with Granger in the middle and “Indiana
Jones” Chapman Andrews to the left. Photo:
K. A. Albertsen, 1922.
Climbing over the high passes of Han
Deva beyond Kalgan, the party passed
this beautiful temple. Photo: Carl Krebs,
1923.
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