HERMANNS, Matthias

HERMANNS, Matthias. Köln-Niehl 31.5.1899 — St.Augustin bei Bonn 5.1.1972. Father, S.V.D. German Missionary, Ethnologist and Tibetan Scholar. A Roman Catholic priest. Educated in 1914-17 and 1919-21 in the Netherlands, in 1917-18 trained as a pilot in Lübeck. Entered then the Society of Divine Word (S.V.D.) and studied at seminary in Mödling (W. Schmidt, Koppers), ordained 1928. One year further studies of prehistory, religion and East Asian art at Vienna. In 1929 to China, first studied Chinese, from 1934 also Tibetan. He worked as missionary in the Koonor area of Amdo (Qinghai) until the Communist rule impended missionary work, but also began anthropologicl studies in collaboration with Dominik Schröder. Ph.D. 1948 Fribourg. When China became closed he spent some time in Europe and then went in 1950 to India (Bombay). Fieldwork in Nepal, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala. Back to Europe in 1960, now taught at Steyler Institute in Munich, retired 1968. Last years living at Anthropos Institute in Sankt Augustin near Bonn.

As anthropologist Hermanns was a prominent member of P. Wilhelm Schmidt’s Vienna school. In Amdo he travelled much, visited monasteries and villages, collected anthropological material and manuscripts and made numerous photos.

Publications: Vom Urmenschen zur Hochkultur: Chinas Ursprung und Entwicklung. 316 p. Jenchowfu 1935.

– “Schöpfungs- und Abstammungsmythen der Tibeter”, Anthropos 41-44, 1946-49, 275-298, 817-847.

Die Nomaden von Tibet. Innerasiatische Hirtenkulturen, Ursprung und Entwicklung der Viehzucht. 325 p. Vienna 1949.

Diss. publ. Die A mdo pa-Grosstibeter. Die sozialwirtschaftlichen Grundlagen der Hirtenkulturen Innerasiens. 327 p. 12 pl. Mödling b. Wien 1950.

– “Tibetische Dialekt von A-mdo”, Anthropos 47, 1952, 193-202.

The Evolution of a Man. 139 p. Allahabad 1955 (against Darwinism).

– “Zur Religion der Kadar in Südindien”, Anthropos 53, 1958, 1018-1022 & “Contributions to the Study of Kadan Religion”, Man 55, 1955, 145-151, 1 pl. 5 fig. (Kadar, a food-gathering tribe in the forest of SE Kerala).

The Indo-Tibetans: The Indo-Tibetan and Mongoloid Problem in the Southern Himalaya and North-Northeast India. 16+159 p. Bombay 1954; Hinduism and Tribal Culture. 59 p. Bombay 1957.

Himmelsstier und Gletscherlöwe. Mythen, Sagen und Fabeln aus Tibet. 258 p. Eisenach & Kassel 1955; Mythen und Mysterien, Magie und Religion der Tibeter. 400 p. Köln 1956.

Die Familie der A-mdo Tibeter. 403 p. Freiburg i.B. 1959.

Translated: Das National-Epos der Tibeter: gLing König Ge-sar. 1-2. 962 p. Regensburg 1965.

Die religiös-magische Weltanschauung der Primitivstämme Indiens. 1. Die Bhagoria Bhil. 16+543 p. Wb. 1964; 2. Die Bhilala, Korku, Gond, Baiga. 12+571 p. 36 pl. Wb. 1966; 3. Die Oraon. 10+420 p. 26 pl. Wb. 1973.

Schamanen – Pseudoschamanen, Erlöser und Heilbringer. 1-3. Wb. 1970.

Der Mensch: woher – wohin? Paderborn 1971.

– “Die Weltanschauung der alttibetischen Hirtennomaden”, ZfEthnol. 96, 1971, 155-201; other articles in ZfEthnol.

Sources: D. Schröder, Anthropos 67, 1972, 1-8 with photo; Wikipedia.

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