ADAM, Leonhard. Berlin 16.12.1891 — Bonn 9.9.1960. German Ethnologist in Australia (naturalized 1956). Son of Meinhardt Michael Adam and Katharina Clare Rosa Schmidt. Gymnasium in Berlin. Studied law, economics, ethnology and Sinology at Berlin and Greifswald, LL.D. 1916. Worked as judge in Berlin, but kept his interest in ethnology and taught primitive and comparative law at university. Partly with Jewish background he lost his official positions in 1933 and 1938 escaped to England. Interned 1940 and sent to Australia. He was released on Malinowski’s (Dening) or Marett’s (Br.) recommendation in 1942 and settled at Queen’s College of University of Melbourne, working as research scholar (1943-47), Lecturer (1947-56) and part-time Curator (1958-60) of ethnological collection. Hon. dr. 1958 Bonn. Died of heart attack during a conference. Married 1943 musician Julia Mary Baillie, one daughter.
Until WW II he worked mainly on primitive law and art, in Australia he concentrated on the Aborigines. His Gurkha article 1934 is based on material collected during WW I in a war prisoners’ camp in Romania specially meant for Indian (and Gurkha) war prisoners.
Publications: Buddhastatuen, Ursprung und Formen der Buddhagestalt. 121 p. Stuttgart 1925.
– “A Marriage Ceremony of the Pun-Clan (Magar) at Rigah (Nepal)”, Man 34, 1934, 17-21; “Social Organization and Customary Law of the Nepalese Tribes”, Amer. Anthrop. 38, 1936, 533-547; “Criminal Law and Procedure in Nepal a Century Ago”, Far Eastern Quarterly 9:2, 1950, 23 p. (from notes left by B. H. Hodgson).
– Primitive Art. Harmondsworth 1940, then also in Portuguese and French.
– Also Wrote on Australian Aborigines; articles on comparative law in Z. f. vgl. Rechtswiss.
Sources: H.J. Braunholtz, Man 60, 1960, 180 (filed); G. Dening, Austr. Dict. of Biogr. 13, 1993, online version.
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