KITTEL, Ferdinand

KITTEL, Ferdinand. Resterhafe/Ostfriesland 7.4.1832 — Tübingen 19.12.1905. German Missionary and Indologist, a Kannaḍa Scholar. In India in 1853-77 and 1883-92. Son of a village minister, Gottfried Christian K., and Helen Hubert, educated at home and in Aurich, but left the school in order to become a missionary. In 1850-53 he was trained at the seminary of Basel Protestant Missionary Society and then sent to South India. Stationed in Dharwar, he studied Kannaḍa, Tulu and Sanskrit. Originally he collaborated with Weigle and Mögling, but his difficult character estranged him from other missionaries and he was often moved from one station to another, finally in Mangalore. There he was in charge of the mission’s printing press and prepared a number of text books. In order to develop missionary work and Bible translations he became an ardent student of Indian religion and culture. From 1875 he worked on his great Kannaḍa dictionary (still in use). He also edited several Old Kannaḍa texts. After a while in Mercara, he left India with his lexical materials and worked on them in Germany in 1877-83. In order to consult Indian experts he then returned to India and again left only in 1892, because of his failing health. He settled down in Tübingen and saw there his Dictionary through the press. Honorary Ph.D. 1896 Tübingen. Married 1860 Pauline Eyth (d. 1864) and 1867 her younger sister Wilhelmine Julie, and had with her two daughters and two sons.

Publications: Religious pamphlets and translations in Kannada and Tulu.

Knowledge of the Supreme Spirit. Mangalore 1863; Survey of the Vedic Polytheism and Pantheism. 56 p. Mangalore 1868; A Tract on Sacrifice (yajnasudhānidhi). 134 p. Mangalore 1872; Über den Ursprung des Lingakultus in Indien. 48 p. Mangalore 1876.

Vyakarana Sutragalu. 1865 (a Kannada grammar); Canarese Poetical Anthology. 20+401 p. Mangalore 1874 (Kannaḍa text with vocabulary).

Edited: Nagavarma’s Kanarese Prosody. 82+160 p. Mangalore 1875; Shabda Mani Darpana. Kesiraja’s Jewel Mirror of Grammar. With the commentary of Niṣṭhūrasanjayya.Mangalore 1872, new ed. 412 p. M. 1899.

A Kannada–English Dictionary. 50+1752 p. Mangalore 1894.

A grammar of the Kannaḍa language in English comprising the three dialects of the language (ancient, mediaeval and modern). 483 p. Mangalore 1903.

On epigraphy, EI 16, 1900-01, 213-219, 1 pl.

Sources: Brückner et al., Indienforschung im Zeitenwandel. 2003, 55-60; Herring 1994, 64f.; Stache-Rosen 1990, 73f. with photo; *R. Wendt (ed.), An Indian to the Indians: on the initial failure and the posthumous success of the missionary F.K. (1832–1903). Wb. 2006 (review J. Hanneder, IIJ 50, 2007, 165-167); Wikipedia with another  photo (1854).

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