Please find more information about the object below the image.

Karl Weule was appointed to the Leipzig Ethnological Museum in 1899 to create classification systems for the growing mass of objects. He created an alphabetical index of collectors and a register of objects received and main catalog for all collections. In addition, he developed an inventory system for the permanent labeling of objects. He also developed a card catalog, stowed in boxes, five of which are displayed here.

The categorization and cataloging systems relate a narrative of our colonial perspective. They significantly influenced the way objects were regarded at the time and dictated what was written down about them. In this respect, they still help determine what we do and do not know about the objects. A considerable amount of information was not sought, leaving us with many blank spaces and questions today: Who made the objects? What was their function? Who owned them, and how exactly was each object acquired? These are questions that we can no longer reconstruct today, which makes it all the more important to pursue these questions in collaborative research projects and work together to break down colonial structures.

Stefanie Bach