WIRZ, Paul

WIRZ, Paul. Moscow 29.5.1892 — Ulopu, Maprik, Papua New Guinea 30.1.1955. Swiss Ethnologist. Born of Swiss parents in Russia, studied physics and chemistry at Technische Hochschule in Zürich, but soon turned to Ethnology. In 1915-20 fieldwork in Dutch New Guinea, again in 1920-22, 1924-26 and in the 1950s, also in Sri Lanka and Bali. He was living in Basel, but never had a teaching position. During his expeditions he also collected thousands of artefacts for museums and for his private collection. Married, ar least one son.

Publications: Exorzismus und Heilkunde auf Ceylon. 292 p. Bern 1941.

Einsiedler auf Taprobane. Geschichte dreier Inseln. 134 p. Bern 1942 (about his life on Ceylon’s south coast).

– Much on Indonesia and especially on New Guinea.

Sources: F. Herrmann, ZfEthnol. 80, 1955, 135-137; *Andrea E. Schmidt, Paul Wirz. Ein Wanderer auf der Suche nach der „Wahren Natur”. 351 p. Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie 39. Basel 1998; *German Wikipedia.

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