part of APPENDIX F
New York, USA
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West and 79th Street
Tel: +01 212 769 5100
The Anthropology department of the American Museumis dedicated to the study of human culture and biology. It was established in 1873, only four years after the Museum was founded.
One of the Museum's most important tasks is the preservation of, and access to, the its archaeological, ethnological, and physical anthropology collections The collections include more than 500,000 objects from cultures in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Greater North Pacific region.
The Asian Ethnographic Collection makes up the finest collection in the Americas. A large part of the collection was made by early anthropologists, who gathered extraordinarily detailed documentation. The collection is comprehensive and includes virtually all object types made of every conceivable material. The objects in this collection span an immense range of diversity of cultures: form semi-sedentary agriculturalists in the rain forests of Malaysia, to Bedouin nomads, and to the peasants and poets, philosophers and statesmen of India and China, the world's oldest enduring civilizations.
The Museum holds the C. Anderson collection of 250 items and the Museum gives the following information:
The largest Andaman collection, sent in by C. Anderson, was made just about the time the Radcliffe-Brown was making his study in the area 1906-1908. Anderson was, at that time, Assistant Superintendent at Port Blair. His catalogue gives the names of the objects in Aka-Bea language from which one can assume that the material is all from the Aka Bea tribe (at that time still living living around Port Blair in South Andaman). The collection is divided into 8 categories: (1) hunting and fishing), (2) cooking, (3) wearing apparel, (4) decorations, (5) tools, (6) raw materials, (7) spiritual life and magic (8) miscellaneous and models.
The collection with over 45,000 objects is available online on http://anthro.amnh.org. To view the Andamanese collection click (1) Collections Database and then (2) Asian Ethnographic Collection, then in the field "Culture" chose "Great Andamanese Tribes" and one criterium (criteria are Name / Material / Locale / Catalogue no. / Donor Name).
Last changed 6 December 2003