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HoST - Journal of History of Science and Technology

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Gender, Museums and Science: Wanda Hanke’s Ethnological Collections (1933–1958)

Mariana M. O. Sombrio
Published Online: 2016-09-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/host-2016-0003


This paper will explore the significance of the expeditions under- taken by Wanda Hanke (1893-1958) in South America, of the networks she established in the region, as well as of her contributions to ethnological studies, in particular her compilation of extensive data and collections. Through Hanke's experience, it is possible to elucidate aspects of the history of ethnology and that of the history of museums in Brazil, as well as to emphasize the status of female participation in these areas. Wanda Hanke spent 25 years of her life studying the indigenous groups of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay and collecting ethnological objects for natural history museums. Trained in medicine and philosophy, she began to dedicate herself to ethnological studies in her forties, and she travelled alone, an uncommon characteristic among female scientists in the 1940s, in Brazil.

Keywords: Wanda Hanke; ethnology; scientific expeditions; collections; gender; museology

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Published Online: 2016-09-06

Published in Print: 2016-09-01

Citation Information: HoST - Journal of History of Science and Technology, ISSN (Online) 1646-7752, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/host-2016-0003.

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© 2016. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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