Amy V. Margaris, Kasprycki, Sylvia S.: Five Years in America. The Menominee Collection of Antoine Marie Gachet. Altenstadt: ZKF Publishers; Fribourg: Pro Ethnographi©a, 2018. 96 pp. ISBN 978-​3-​9811620-​9-​7; 978-​2-​9701063-​1-​9. (Pro Ethnographi©a Collections, 1) Price: € 19,90 in:

Anthropos, page 231 - 232

Anthropos, Volume 115 (2020), Issue 1, ISSN: 0257-9774, ISSN online: 0257-9774,

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the book she studies the process of creating a consumer so‐ ciety in Bulgaria. We learn about the rise and fall of con‐ sumer organisations (chaps. 3 and 4); about the frustra‐ tions of consumer activists who complain that Bulgarians do not want to follow the “Western” models of consumer cultures (chap. 2); and that the existence of consumer cul‐ ture has been a prerequisite of joining the European Union (chap. 3). Bulgarian citizen-consumers repeatedly refuse, however, to fit within these expectations as they reject the idea of taking all the burden and responsibility on them‐ selves. They expect the state to care for them and protect them from products and practices that are mente. Mente – a central category of the book – means fake or not good products, including also in some contexts spoiled foods. But mente can also refer to corrupt politicians, greedy businessmen, and broken political systems. We see how Jung’s interlocutors strategise to avoid mente products, be it shoes, food, or heating, and how they complain that they are continuously at risk of obtaining such produce. They blame the state for not protecting their own citizens and keep looking for its accountability, if not at the national then at the EU level (see chap. 4). Consumer politics with‐ in the EU are coined around the concept of choice, but Bulgarians from Jung’s book continuously challenge the assumptions that the responsibility for consumption choices lies solely with them individually. Jung carefully explains that such an approach does not mean that they want to go back to socialism, but rather that they dare to imagine a different path than European neoliberalism. “Their demand was neither a return to a paternalistic state nor a neoliberal state, but a state that could balance the demands for access and choice for citizen-consumers” (154). In the 1990 s and early 2000 s, Bulgarians could not imagine any realistic alternative to EU integration (chap. 3) and Jung demon‐ strates how Bulgaria did not have a different path than complaisance – “the inability not to follow” – with the EU throughout the process of accession and integration. And yet by showing us how Bulgarians imagine and ex‐ pect a state morally committed to its citizens, Jung demonstrates their hopes for a different path in the cur‐ rent crisis of global capitalism. And this makes the book relevant well beyond post-socialist field in anthropol‐ ogy, demonstrating that post-socialism is indeed a “global condition,” and that a careful analysis of postsocialist processes can provide valuable insights into contemporary global processes. In anthropology, the focus on post-socialist regions, particularly Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), has been decreasing compared to the 1980 s–90 s and early 2000 s. CEE is certainly no longer “the hottest” anthro‐ pological topic or region, and there has been some de‐ bate within the field whether post-socialism still provides a valuable framework. “Balkan Blues” demon‐ strates how timely and revealing the analysis of post-so‐ cialist institutions can still be. The book is based on fieldwork spread over years, conducted mainly in 2001– 2002, and then in 2007, 2008, 2009 with brief follow ups later on between 2011 and 2016. We, therefore, be‐ come witnesses to how Bulgarians participate in and ex‐ perience the making of consumer society after state so‐ cialism and throughout the process of accessing the European Union. I only wish that we could learn more from the book about the last decade and how people ex‐ perienced consumer culture in the years after EU acces‐ sion. Despite her visits to Bulgaria at that time, Jung does not elaborate much on that period. Furthermore, I remain curious as to what happened after the 2008 fin‐ ancial crisis, which occurred a year after Bulgaria’s ac‐ cession to the EU, but is seldom mentioned in the book. “Balkan Blues” is a welcome addition to anthropol‐ ogy of consumption and material culture, economic an‐ thropology as well as to anthropology of the state. I read the book from two perspectives, as a researcher of East‐ ern Europe and as a person who grew up in Poland and experienced many situations like those Jung describes in her book. I found “Balkan Blues” to be quintessen‐ tially anthropological in that it is able to make “the fa‐ miliar strange.” But I also recommend this book for people not accustomed with CEE, as I am convinced “Balkan Blues” will also make “the strange familiar,” providing insights about people’s relations with the state and the market relevant well beyond the Bulgarian case. Zofia Boni ( Kasprycki, Sylvia S.: Five Years in America. The Menominee Collection of Antoine Marie Gachet. Al‐ tenstadt: ZKF Publishers; Fribourg: Pro Ethnographi©a, 2018. 96 pp. ISBN 978-3-9811620-9-7; 978-2-9701063- 1-9. (Pro Ethnographi©a Collections, 1) Price: € 19,90 The Menominee (Mamaceqtaw) are indigenous peo‐ ples of North America whose ancestral lands spanned what is now Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsu‐ la. Traditionally they enjoyed trade relationships with the Ojibwa, Potawatomi, and other Native groups across the Great Lakes region. Today the federally-recognized Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin regards their reservation land as adjacent to their culture’s place of origin, at the mouth of the Menominee River. Sylvia S. Kasprycki’s “Five Years in America. The Menominee Collection of Antoine Marie Gachet” is a beautifully illustrated volume that testifies to 19th-cen‐ tury Menominee life at the beginning of the reservation period as reflected in the drawings and collected ethno‐ graphic materials of Gachet, a Swiss Capuchin mission‐ ary. Gachet (1822–1890) lived with the Menominee be‐ tween 1859–1862. By this time the tribe had gained prominence in the European fur trade, only to lose most of their lands after coming under the control of the Unit‐ ed States following the War of 1812. In the first of her two essays, Kasprycki, an ethnohistorian and curator, traces the Euroamerican forces affecting Menominee way of life over the nearly 200-year-period leading up to Gachet’s arrival, including the interplay between tra‐ ditional Menominee and European Catholic spiritual practices. One of the many wonderful colorful drawings included in the book is Gachet’s depiction of an open air Book Reviews 231 Anthropos 115.2020 Catholic ceremony in which Menomonee religious con‐ verts assemble around a cross in neatly ordered rows, while beyond the surrounding fence, scattered groups of “pagans” in traditional garb look on with varied degrees of interest (28: Fig. 20). Gachet deeded 44 Menominee objects to Fribourg’s Musée d’Antiquités in 1860, and from here the collec‐ tion’s more recent “back story” offers considerable interest, for it illustrates the precarity of untold numbers of legacy ethnographic collections like Gachet’s which, relegated to attics or basements, only partially invento‐ ried, and suffering from physical loss, are sorely in need of resuscitation. Close reading of the volume points to the collaborative effort that went into bringing the col‐ lection and Gachet’s accompanying drawings together again, and back into the light of day. Indeed, the book reflects the interests of a range of contemporary stakeholders. The “Preface” was con‐ tributed by a council member of Fribourg, Gachet’s beloved home town. We learn in the “Editor’s Introduc‐ tion” how the book’s publisher, Pro Ethnographi©a, stepped in to digitize, document, and ultimately pur‐ chase this and several other of the University of Fri‐ bourg’s collections in order to aid in their long-term preservation. The primary goal of a chapter by the late professor and Capuchin Anton Rotzetter is to situate Gachet within his Capuchin religious worldview and appointments (including a long and apparently bela‐ bored assignment in India), but we learn through Rotzetter’s footnotes that Gachet’s illustrated diaries are maintained in the local Fribourg Capuchin friary, and were only recently reconnected with his related ethno‐ graphic collection. Kasprycki’s second essay of comparative and contex‐ tual notes offers a fascinating window into the complex process of reassembling a fragmented historic collec‐ tion. The resulting catalogue includes full color object photos, many accompanied by drawings which further illuminate each object’s original cultural context. A wooden model of a dugout canoe, for example, is outfit‐ ted with a miniature raised platform. Paired with one Gachet’s drawings of a boat in use, the reader sees how the platform was designed to support an illuminated torch for fishing at night. Some items in the collection, such as a pair of beaded mittens and a wooden case built for a simple clay pipe, are extraordinary simply as rare examples of the ordinary – items which collectors often ignored and hence are poorly represented in ethnographic collections today. Several demonstrate the fine bead and quill work for which native groups of Great Lakes area are well-known, while one artisan’s response to the possibilities offered by new materials is evident in a pair of moccasins whose traditional quill‐ work design was created using silk-thread embroidery. The volume concludes with a “catalogue raisonné,” the art historical term for a complete catalog of an artist’s works and used here to describe Kasprycki’s best estimate of what remains today of Gachet’s collection. The catalogue alone, in addition to the volume as a whole, represents a substantial research effort and will be instrumental in linking Gachet’s materials with Menominee cultural records located elsewhere. The Publisher Pro Ethnographi©a asserts itself to be “Nonprofit, apolitical, and non-confessional in its nature” (10), a statement of neutrality that’s perhaps intended to separate the current era of collection stewardship from its missionizing precursor. Can any repository of cultur‐ al materials be truly neutral, however? There are always choices to be made, and one could argue that the au‐ thors’ careful work of reassembling the collection for publication is itself a political act. But what then of the Menominee today? To whom goes the charge of ensur‐ ing that the book’s rich content makes its way back to its source community? What surely awaits is the oppor‐ tunity to usher the 19th-century cultural materials that Antoine Marie Gachet obtained in Wisconsin into their next chapter of life. Amy V. Margaris ( Kasten, Erich (ed.): Jochelson, Bogoras, and Shtern‐ berg. A Scientific Exploration of Northeastern Siberia and the Shaping of Soviet Ethnography. Fürstenberg: Verlag der Kulturstiftung Sibirien, 2018. 283 pp. ISBN 978-3-942883-34-4. Price: € 28,00 Die ethnografische Kartierung des russländischen Im‐ periums blickt auf eine lange Tradition zurück, die im frühen 18. Jh. ihren Anfang nahm, als der russländische Staat im Zuge der großen Expeditionen Hundertschaften von namhaften Forschern damit beauftragt hatte, das Reich nicht nur geografisch zu vermessen, sondern in seiner naturhistorischen Beschaffenheit zu erschließen und auch seine ethnische Vielfalt genau zu dokumentie‐ ren. Die Berichte, die daraus hervorgegangen sind, wie etwa von Johann Georg Gmelin, Georg Wilhelm Steller, Gerhard Friedrich Müller oder Stepan P. Krašeninnikov, sind heute noch lesenswert, nicht nur weil sie eine Fülle an Informationen auch über die indigenen Völker Sibiri‐ ens bereithalten, sondern weil ihre Beschreibungen zu‐ gleich Aufschluss geben über das zeitgenössische epis‐ temische Ordnungsprinzip, das die Expeditionsteilneh‐ mer ihren Beobachtungen zugrundegelegt hatten: Steine und Pflanzen beanspruchten das gleiche Maß ihrer Auf‐ merksamkeit wie Tiere und Menschen. Eine Ethnografie freilich, die sich nicht lediglich auf ein Verfahren allge‐ meinen additiven Verzeichnens beschränken wollte, sondern analytische und damit wissenschaftliche Krite‐ rien an einen einzigen Untersuchungsgegenstand – indi‐ gene Völker – legte, sollte sich in Russland, wie übri‐ gens im restlichen Europa auch, erst in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jh.s etablieren, obgleich sie gerade we‐ gen ihrer Nähe zur Anthropologie als eigenständige Disziplin bis Ende des 19. Jh.s nur langsam Konturen annahm. Bei der Verwissenschaftlichung der Ethnogra‐ fie spielte der russländische Staat erneut eine bedeutsa‐ me, nun aber gänzlich unrühmliche Rolle. Denn nicht wenige der ethnografischen Pioniere hatten ihre Be‐ schäftigung deswegen in Sibirien aufgenommen, weil 232 Book Reviews Anthropos 115.2020

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Anthropos is the international journal of anthropology and linguistics, founded in 1906 by Wilhelm Schmidt, missonary and member of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD). Its main purpose is the study of human societies in their cultural dimension. In honor of Wilhelm Schmidt‘s legacy, the cultivation of anthropology, ethnology, linguistics, and religious studies remain an essential component oft he Anthropos Institute – the organizational carrier of the journal.


Anthropos - internationale Zeitschrift für Völkerkunde wird vom Anthropos Institut St. Augustin seit 1906 zweimal jährlich herausgegeben. Ursprünglich als Sprachrohr für katholische Missionarsarbeit geplant, gilt sie heute als wichtige Fachzeitschrift der allgemeinen Ethnologie. Sie behandelt sowohl kulturelle als auch sprachliche Themen in mehreren Sprachen, mit Schwerpunkt auf den Völkern des gesamtamerikanischen und afrikanischen Kontinents.