Stefania Skowron-Markowska and Marta Nowakowska: The Expedition of Stanisław Poniatowski to the Land of the Golds and the Orochs (1914)


The aim of this article is to describe and analyze the contribution of Stanisław Poniatowski to the ethnological study of Siberia – the region that has always attracted travelers and discoverers. Even those who had been exiled by the tsarist regime in the second half of the 19th century not only intended to survive in the new, harsh environment, but also frequently conducted their own geographic, ethnographic, or botanical research. The turn of the 19th and 20th centuries was also the time of the first academic expeditions to Siberia, such as the one led by Vladimir G. Bogoraz (1894–1896), a Russian ethnographer and linguist, during which systematic research in various fields of humanities and natural sciences was conducted. The scientific contribution of Stanisław Poniatowski to Siberian studies is based, in the first place on his extensive and detailed fieldwork which, nonetheless, would not be possible without the support given by the acclaimed Czech anthropologist Aleš Hrdlička. Thanks to his assistance, Poniatowski’s expedition could be carried on and produce unique ethnographic data on relatively unknown peoples of that region of Asia.

[Siberia, Stanisław Poniatowski, the Nanai, the Orochs, history of ethnology, cultural heritage]