Physical anthropology and the description of the 'savage' in the Brazilian Anthropological Exhibition of 1882

Antropologia física e a descrição do 'selvagem' na Exposição Antropológica Brasileira de 1882

This paper discusses attempts to popularize scientific knowledge about anthropology through exhibitions of natives in the United States and Brazil from the nineteenth century to the beginnings of the twentieth century. In the First Brazilian Anthropological Exposition (Rio de Janeiro, 1882), a group of Botocudos was characterized in a manner that can be related to the reification of the myth of the savage, an important part of the European culture that played a significant role in the construction of anthropological knowledge in the nineteenth century. From the analyses of such exhibitions, we derive implications for science popularization and education, concerning the ideological undertones of scientific knowledge.

anthropological exhibitions; scientific racism; physical anthropology; indigenous people; science popularization


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