Lothar Becker's contributions to anthropology

Hilary Howes*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Warning: Readers of this article are warned that it may contain terms, descriptions and opinions that are culturally sensitive and/or offensive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Silesian traveller-naturalist Lothar Becker's two visits to Victoria in 1849-52 and 1855-65 brought him into contact with Aboriginal people living in Western Victoria, Melbourne, the Murray River at Albury, and Gippsland. His travels took him to areas now recognised as the traditional lands of the Gunaikurnai, Wathaurung, Wiradjuri and Wurundjeri peoples. Becker's publications include scattered observations on Aboriginal appearance, lifeways, diet, skills, and beliefs. Although these observations were limited by his inability to speak any Aboriginal languages and coloured by his assumptions about the inferiority of Aboriginal culture, they nevertheless document small but significant fragments of what has recently been termed 'Aboriginal Biocultural Knowledge'.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)138-145
    Number of pages8
    JournalHistorical Records of Australian Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


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