Berthold Riese und Xiaobing Wang: Ethnografische Forschung von SVD-Missionaren in Qīnghăi und Gānsù (China)


Among Christian missionary orders to enter China fairly late, the SVD started its work in Shandong province around the turn of the 19th to the 20th centuries and extended it to the north-westerly provinces of Gansu and Qinghai shortly after 1920. These activities, which lasted until 1950, were accompanied by extensive ethnographic work, contributing to the knowledge of ethnic minorities an immigrant Han-Chinese in those remote provinces on a high level of competence thanks to excellent previous education and language skills acquired by the missionaries. Most productive and prominent ethnographers were Matthias Hermanns, Dominik Schröder and Johannes Frick. Their Major contributions are summarized here. A collection of ethnographic studies in 1952 by these and other SVD-missionaries was published in 1952. But neither these nor the later published monographs, most of them edited under the auspices of Anthropos Institute, received adequate recognition in China. This deficit was a reason for us to evaluate the work of these ethnographers in the places of their field activities, evaluating their work on the Background of local conditions and developments.

[China, Gansu, Qinghai, SVD, Ethnography]