- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: May 2011
- Print publication year: 2009
- First published in: 1923
- Online ISBN: 9780511704567
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511704567
Theodor Koch-Grünberg (1872–1924) was a noted German ethnologist and explorer whose work on the indigenous peoples of Brazil and Venezuela is still consulted by anthropologists, ethnologists and linguists today. His most important publication was this five-volume account of his expedition of 1911–1913 from the sandstone mountains bordering Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana through uncharted territory westwards to the Orinoco. Volume 5 contains 185 photographs of individuals and groups selected from around 350 taken by the author. His intention was to provide data on the physical characteristics of the tribes he encountered before the distinctions between them became blurred or vanished. Exact measurements and precise ages are not provided, but the author explains how individuals are related, gives their indigenous and 'Christian' names and social status, and provides a 'pen-portrait' for people he came to know personally. A short introduction provides contextualising information about geography and population.