Alexander Schadenberg Zambales Negritos, or Aetas, Phillipines
Medium Albumen print
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1880s Print Date 1880s
Dimensions 8-3/4 x 5-1/4 in. (222 x 133 mm)
Photo Country Philippines
Photographer Country Germany
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Unusual image of two men with bows and arrows in front of a painted studio backdrop of jungle foliage. With a view that their culture would probably not survive the encroachment of modern times, Aetas were asked to pose in these faux landscapes for posterity. The floor is a mix of chopped up branches and a European carpet.
Alexander Schadenberg was born in Breslau, Germany on June 27, 1851 (although some sources say May 27, 1852), the son of a court dignitary. After graduating from his local school, he was apprenticed to a pharmacist and later went to Breslau University for the study of natural sciences (chemistry, pharmacy and particularly botany). After graduating with a doctor of philosophy degree, he was appointed assistant director of the Potassic Salt Works in Stassfurt. The wholesale drug firm of Pablo Sartorius offered him a post in Manila, where he remained for three years, exploring the interior of the island and its native population. An ongoing fever sent him temporarily back to Germany, but in August of 1881 he set out again for the Philippines, accompanied by his friend Otto Koch.
After returning to Germany with many specimens, Schadenberg experienced a great deal of notoriety. His work was recognized by various anthropological and ethnographical societies and official recognition was given in the form of various orders and crosses. He was a well-known writer and lecturer during this period from 1883 to 1885. He returned to the Philippines with his family for further exploration in November 1885. It was during this latter stay that he photographed much of the native populations. He died January 26, 1896 at the young age of 44 years old, probably of malaria, which had plagued him from his first visit.
While images by Schadenberg survive in his many illustrated books and articles, actual photographic prints from the period are scarce.
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