Entomology, botany and the early ethnographic monograph in the work of H.-A. Junod
This chapter examines the ways in which the methodology of entomology and botany influenced the beginnings of anthropology in southern Africa. It determines how the form, content and authority of the early ethnographic monograph was shaped and contained by the conventions of writing and analysis of the natural sciences. The chapter also examines how the skills of observation developed by field naturalists in Switzerland were transferred to the new discipline of anthropology. It shows how Henri-Alexandre Junod employed the methods of the natural sciences to represent and explain African society. During his first furlough in Switzerland Junod worked through his entomological collections and co-authored a series of articles with European experts. In Neuchatel the growth of the Natural History Museum had traditionally depended on the generosity of the town's many traders, missionaries, mercenaries and travellers living abroad.
This chapter examines the ways in which the discovery and domestication of African society was preceded and informed by a similar process in the mountain wilderness of Switzerland. Early Swiss missionaries projected their fears and hopes onto Africa in much the same way that as a previous generation had projected sentiments onto the Alps. The chapter highlights Neuchatel's importance in the emergence of anthropology as a discipline. It unravels the contradictory imagery of Africa and the Alps developed by Swiss commentators. The chapter investigates the notion of primitiveness in Switzerland, then turn to the ways in which men like Henri-Alexandre Junod and Edouard Jacottet employed this idea to understand their surroundings in Africa. It shows how they resolved their need to find tradition and development, stasis and progress, in the representation of Alpine and African worlds.