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THE COLLECTIONS OF F. J. BIEBER AND KAFA SOCIETY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY [Abstract ID: 1201-03]
This presentation is about the collections of Friedrich Julius Bieber. He visited Ethiopia, especially Kafa, at the beginning of the 20th century and is recognized as the foremost authority on ethnological research dealing with Kafa. Bieber left a great deal of property and written documents concerning both Ethiopia and his daily life. This collection included ethnological objects, instruments used on his journeys to Ethiopia, photographs, books, and unpublished written documents such as diaries, drafts, memoranda, letters and postcards to his family and friends. Today, the collections are held by the World Museum, the District Museum of Hietzing and the Austrian National Library in Vienna, Austria. The collections will help our understanding of Kafa, both historically and currently, and of Ethiopia as a whole, providing insights that would be impossible to know with present day fieldwork. Since 2014, I have been running a project which aims to establish a firm foundation for the collections of F. J. Bieber at the aforementioned institutions by ordering, recording and publishing a catalogue. In this presentation, I will introduce in more detail the collections of Friedrich Julius Bieber. Then, I will discuss the impact the collections have on today’s Kafa and the people of Ethiopia.