Primary sources: Anonymous 1886; Brandeis 1908; Chamisso 1986:149; 150; 153; 193; 197; 263; 275; 276; 278-279; 353; Choris 1822; Eisenhardt 1888; Erdland 1906:58; 1914:19-23; Finsch 1879; 1887; 1893:174; Hager 1886:73-74; Hasebe 1932; Hernsheim 1880:41-42; 1883:77-79; 1887:299; Humphrey 1887; Kirchhoff 1896; Kotzebue 1821: II 113; Kr°mer 1904; 1906:404-409; Kr°mer & Nevermann 1938:91-98; Kubary 1887; Kurze 1887; Schnee 1904:252; Schneider 1891; Seidel 1890; Warren 1860:198; Werner 1889:363; Wood 1875:198; 204-Secondary Sources: Herz 1899:100-102; Kaeppler 1972. [back]


Seidel 1890; Hezel 1983:17. For "pintados/pinctados" in the meaning of tattooes see footnote [5]. [back]


The Russian expedition of 1816/1817 visited the atolls of Wotje (most of the duration of their visit), Erikup., Aur, Maloelap, and Ailuk. Other atolls were touched upon. [back]

Adalbert von Chamisso, a German poet and amateur naturalist, and the French artist Louis Choris as well as some other scientists accompanied Otto von Kotzebue on a voyage of discovery, financed by the Russian Czar. The Russians visited the Marshall Islands in 1816 and 1817. Chamisso's, Choris', and to a lesser extent Kotzebue's account are tainted by the spirit of romanticism, en vogue in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Many aspects are seen through rose-tinted glasses, on the search for the perfect "savages" living in harmony with nature.

In her discussion of Hawaiian tattoes, Adrienne Kaeppler (1988:160) argues that etchings prepared after Choris sketches are not too accurate and that some design elements had been shifted around, although the design elements themselves may been accurately depicted. Similar observations have been made for the art of most early European visitors to the Pacific, cautioning the scholar to use these illustrations prudently.


William Lay & Cyrus M.Hussey were two survivors of the mutiny on the whaler Globe in 1824. Both lived for over one and a half years on Mile Atoll, kept by the Marshallese as "slaves" and, to a certain extent, as "pets" for their curiosity value. The accounts of these two sailors, however, are very limited regarding information on customs, also regarding tattooing. The same applies to customs related to women. On the whole there is so little mention made of women and the general laissez faire of sexual relations that it is almost certain that this information, and other parts have been oppressed. [back]


Franz Hernsheim (1845-1909), operating originally from Hamburg, was at least temporarily a resident trader who founded his first trading station on Jaluit, and over the years acquired a large fortune, operating trading stations on several atolls. Hernsheim published a series of papers on the Marshall Islands (1880; 1883; 1887). [back]


Carl Hager apparently was a German trader on employ by the Deutsche Handels- und Plantagen Gesellschaft (?) He published a 157 page book on the Marshall Islands (1886), written mainly from a geographic and material cultural point of view, with a strong emphasis on Marshallese produce and trade. Social aspects are only touched upon, and if so, only in a cursorily manner. [back]


Otto Finsch, a German ethnographer and naturalist, visited the Marshall Islands 1879/1880 for almost a year. He stayed mainly on Jaluit, Arno and Mile, predominantly working on the natural history of the Marshall Islands. In many respects his observations on tattooing contradict those of other observers and it appears that the topic was not well investigated by him. [back]


Jan Kubary was an involuntary emigrant from his native Poland and had been hired by the German trading company Godeffroy to collect natural history and ethnological specimens for the company's museum in Hamburg. He resided only shortly in the Marshalls, and spent most of his time in Palau, Yap and Pohnpei. [back]


Otto Eisenhardt, a German sailor, was stranded for eight months on Ailuk Atoll and made several pertinent observations in his short account of the stay (Eisenhardt 1888). [back]


O.Humphrey was stranded with the Philadelphia ship Rainier on Ujae Atoll for about 8 weeks until he went to Jaluit with a small schooner built from the wreck. His account is rather brief but useful (Humphrey 1887; see also Hezel 1979:140). [back]


These administrators, as well as their medical officers (German Government doctors in Jaluit were [in succession?] Drs. E.Steinbach, Schwabe, Bartels, Born and H.Schnee), sent by the Imperial German Government were commonly, but not exclusively, Protestant Prussians. [back]


The administrators wrote regular annual reports, which were published in official German Colonial Archives (Anonymous, 1886; 1892; 1893; 1895a; 1895b; 1896; 1897; 1898; 1899; 1900; Steinbach 1893; 195a; 1895b). In addition a number of unpublished annual reports exist in the Archives of the Reichskolonialamt (Berlin, with copy in the Australian National Library in Canberra) and the Archives of the Governour General of the German Possession in the South Sea (formerly Rabaul, now held by the Archives of Papua New Guinea): e.g. Merz 1910; 1912a; 1912b. [back]


Cf. Brandeis 1908; Kurze 1887; Schneider 1891; Seidl 1890; v.Werner 1889. [back]


Father A.Erdland, a Catholic missionary of the Sacred Heart Jesu Society based in Hiltrup, Germany, lived on Jaluit from 1904(?) to 1914. Widely interested in Marshallese culture and language, he published extensively. His major piece of research is a 376 page monograph on the Marshall Islanders published in 1914. He is also the author of a dictionary on Marshallese language, published in 1906, and until the publication of English-Marshallese dictionaries after World War II the only reliable source. [back]


After Warren 1860. Copied from Choris. Many early European accounts contain re-etchings of Choris' pictures, such as deRienzi 1836:II Plates 145 and 146, or its German version of 1840, which in turn was recut from the French (deRienzi 1840: II Plates 145&146). It is also reproduced (recut) in Warren 1860 and subsequent volumes. Every recut is further away from the original, and often it is made believe by the author that the picture shown is a new image with semblance of the real tattoos and appearance of the Marshallese. The series of recuts and confusion continues to the present. Recently the Warren recut has been reproduced by Brain (1979:9) and stated to originate from Dumont d'Urville's Voyage pittoresque d'autour du monde. (but Dumont d'Urville never landed in the Marshall Islands ) which has been cofused with Choris' Voyage pittoresque d'autour du monde. of 1822. [back]


Augustin Kr°mer and Hans Nevermann co-produced the so far most detailed and comprehensive volume on the ethnography of the Marshall Islands. Augustin Kr°mer, a diligent specialist in oceanic ethnology, had visited in the Marshall islands a number of times (1897/98; 1910) and had published widely on the topic. While Kr°mer had been a member of the famous German South Sea Expedition of Hamburg, spending the years 1908 to 1910 in the South Pacific, especially in parts of the German colonies, Hans Nevermann had been the curator for Oceania at the Ethnological Museum of Berlin. During the German South Sea Expedition Kr°mer's wife Elisabeth covered some of the research into mat weaving, handicraft production and general women's issues. The data presented in that volume, although published as late as 1938, refer to the data collected in 1910 as well as to published sources. [back]


After the outbreak of World War I;, five Japanese warships appeared end of September in Jaluit lagoon, landed troops and took control over the Marshall Islands. The Japanese flag was hoisted on October 3, 1914. The German Station commander as well as all other administrators were transferred to Japan and eventually back to Germany (Kr°mer & Nevermann 1938:10). After.i.Jaluit ;had been taken peacefully, Japanese warships ;went through the atolls, announced that the Marshall Islands were now under Japanese control, removed German government officials, if present, and informed the resident European traders. Apart from Jaluit and Wotje, where the Japanese established a radio station, Japanese presence on the other atolls during World War I was limited to occasional visits. The German property was confiscated and all business was taken over by the Japanese (Meyer 1916:31), mainly by the NBK. The Marshall Islands, as part of the former German possessions in Micronesia were ruled by a Japanese Naval administration until March 1922. After the end of the war and the capitulation of Imperial Germany, her colonies and trading interest were divided up by the newly formed League of Nations, who gave the colonies to the winners of the war for administration. The Treaty of Versailles in 1918 and the subsequent negotiations in the Washington Treaty for limitations in ship's tonnage brought about agreement that Japan be given the former German Colonies in Micronesia north of the Equator, that is excluding Nauru, as a class,"C" mandate by the League of Nations (Covenant of the League of Nations, Article 22) and that she take over all German Government property in the Mandated Territory (Treaty of Versailles, Article 257, š 2). After the Mandate had been granted, Japan began to set up its own infrastructure. [back]


Fukushi 1942; Hasebe 1915; Isoda 1928; 1929; Matsamura 1916; 1918; Matsui 1941; Matsuoka 1927; Oda 1935 (most of the sources were unavailable at the time this study was completed). [back]


Matsamura 1916; 1918. [back]


Hasebe 1915; 1917; 1928; 1930; 1932; 1942; 1943. [back]