Čeští cestovatelé a etnografové na hranici kultur: Vráz, Frič a Kořenský
CZECH TRAVELLERS AND ETHNOGRAPHERS ON THE BOUNDARY OF CIVILIZATIONS: VRÁZ, FRIČ AND KOŘENSKÝ
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This study is a theoretic analysis of lives and works of three Czech travellers - Enrique Stanko Vráz, Alberto Vojtěch Frič and Josef Kořenský. These pioneers of the nascent social and cultural anthropology found themselves on the boundary of different civilizations and were among the first white men who set their foot on the exotic world of “the others”. With their travels, vividly described in their literal work, they not only did an extraordinary job when gathering authentic ethnographic material in the form of literature, photographs and exotic artefacts in Czech cultural context, but they also deconstructed the doctrine of Eurocentrism. The study focuses mainly on their literal heritage and their desire to describe, understand and interpret a different cultural reality. Works of these travellers represent original effort to integrate collecting, observing and research intentions. The study presents their travel books as a specific gnoseologic tool enabling to analyse their field findings ranging from the description to the comparison and interpretation of the exoticism and unknown socio-cultural reality. The study also points out the fact that the travellers transformed the different in their books into a cultural construction created within the author’s personality and his own civilization. Through the strange and different, the travellers thus gave rise to an authentic and complex picture of a different and unknown world including, however, also the author’s own description and interpretation of different forms of cultural reality. This study also aspires to prove that the works of these travellers represent their different personal approaches to perception of cultural boundaries and to their studies of different ethnicities and nations.
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