HORNELL, James. Manchester 1865 — Hastings 24.2.1949. British Zoologist and Ethnographer in South Asia. Son of a Scottish father and Lancashire mother, educated in Kirkcudbright, Scotland. Studied at University College, Liverpool. In 1891-1900 collaborated with Joseph Sinell in Jersey (also married his daughter). In 1900 went to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to report on pearl fisheries and spent there six years. Then several years organizing fisheries in India (Madras), until he retired from official duties in 1924. Now travelled around the Indian Ocean and East Asia studying marine life, sailing boats, various games and other ethnographical matters. In the first part of his career he mainly concentrated on zoology, but later on turned more to anthropology, especially studying various forms of waters transport.

Publications: Wrote on pearl industry, marine worms, games, water vessels, etc., only small part concentrates on South Asia.

– The Boats of the Ganges. The Fishing Methods of the Ganges. M.A.S.B. 8:3, 1924, 171-238.

– “South Indian Blow-Guns, Boomerangs, and Crossbows”, JRAnthrInst 54, 1924, 316-346; “Marine Fish-Traps in South India and Brazil”, Man 24, 1924, 51-53.

– String Figures from Gujarat and Kathiawar. 1932; “A Passion Play Staged by Indian Fishermen”,

Man 45, 1945, 84-87 (Roman Catholic Tamils).
– “Sea-trade in early times”, Antiquity 15, 1941, 233-256.
– “Hero memorial stones of Kathiawar”, Antiquity 16, 1942, 289-300; “The chank shell cult of India”, Antiquity 16,  1942, 113-133; “The Ancient Village Gods of South India”,  Antiquity 18,1944, 78-87.

– “The Coracles of South India”, Man 33, 1933, 157-160.

– Water Transport: Origins and Early Evolution. 15+307 p. Cambridge 1946.

Sources: H.S. Harrison, Man 49, 1949, 66f.; R.S. Wimpenny, Nature 163, 1949, 714; Wikipedia.

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