The Fifth Thule Expedition’s Siberian Legacy

Daria M. Schwalbe, Anne Lisbeth Schmidt, Kristoffer Schmidt

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This article casts light on the last segment of Knud Rasmussen’s “grand expedition,” his trip to Chukotka, in the Russian Far East, in September 1924. He spent somewhere between 18 and 48 hours in Chukotka before he was deported back to Alaska, and it is doubtful that he was able to bring any significant local
objects back with him. Yet the Fifth Thule Expedition’s Siberian Collection at the National Museum of Denmark includes about 1,000 items. Most of these objects were purchased by Rasmussen after his return and donated to the museum as an extension of the Fifth Thule work. The article discusses the significance of Rasmussen’s trip to Chukotka and the origin of the expedition’s Siberian collection. It is also an attempt to challenge our traditional understanding of an “expedition” as a purposeful journey with a definitive beginning and end.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAlaska Journal of Anthropology
Issue number1&2
Pages (from-to)175-194
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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