“LIKE PREGNANT HIPPOS”. Ethnographic Museums and the Legacy of European Colonialism: Outline of a Debate
#1 2021 (70), Special issue. GERMANY - RUSSIA: ON THE CROSSROADS OF CULTURES
An old Bible from Namibia, a mask from Cameroon, a spear from New Guinea, even human remains: ethnological museum collections include thousands of objects from Africa, Asia and the South Seas, but what is the real history of these things? What do they mean? Who did they belong to and how did they get to Europe? Not only has the perspective on ‘foreign’ cultures fundamentally changed during the post-colonial discourses of the past years, but the practice of dealing with the colonial heritage and the selfunderstanding of ethnological museums has changed as well. A provenance researcher provides an insight into the debate, which is particularly topical and controversial for Germany at the present time.