Provenances of ethnographic objects from colonial contexts in Central Hesse

Funding area:
Colonial contexts
Funding recipient:
Oberhessisches Museum
Cooperation partner:
Philipps-Universität Marburg. Ethnographische Sammlung
Federal state:
Contact person:
Dr. Katharina Weick-Joch

PositionProjektleitung (Museumsleitung Oberhessisches Museum)

Tel.0641 960973-12

Manuela Rochholl

PositionWissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin (Oberhessisches Museum)

Tel.0641 960973-18

Prof. Dr. Ernst Halbmayer

PositionSammlungsleitung (Ethnographische Sammlung Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Dr. Dagmar Schweitzer de Palacios

PositionWissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin (Ethnographische Sammlung Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Tel.06421 28-23111

Type of project:
long-term project

The Ethnographic Collection of the Oberhessisches Museum in Giessen and the Ethnographic Collection of the Philipps-University of Marburg will do cooperative research on parts of their collections in regards to various colonial contexts. The inventory of the Giessen collection, which was founded in 1910, includes a large number of objects from colonial contexts, particularly due to the time of its founding during the formal German colonial rule. The Ethnographic Collection of the Philipps-University of Marburg was founded in the 1920s. It also includes objects from colonial contexts, which can be traced back to transfers of objects from other institutions to Marburg´s collection.

The aim of the research project is, on the one hand, to reconstruct the biographies of approx. 60 objects from East African regions (especially Tanzania) and from Cameroon. On the other hand, the connections between the collections in Marburg and Giessen are to be investigated. It is particularly important to examine these connections in regard to people who were involved in the creation and development of both collections and also for specific factors of suspicion, in relation to colonial contexts, that emerged during the project´s preparation.

The project not only intends the cooperation between the Marburg and Giessen collections to establish provenance research on objects from a colonial context in Central Hesse. Likewise, cooperation with representatives in Tanzania and Cameroon is to be established in order to design a diverse research process in which different perspectives can be taken into consideration. The cooperative research project thus represents an essential basis for future research projects in both collections and in the region of Central Hesse.

The research results will be published in German and English on the websites of the Oberhessisches Museum Giessen and the Ethnographic Collection of the Philipps University of Marburg.

(c) Oberhessisches Museum Gießen/ Ethnographische Sammlung der Philipps-Universität-Marburg