5 Hungarian orientalism as seen through the photographs of György Almásy's second expedition to the Kazakh and Kyrgyz territories in 1906 [chapter]

István Sántha, Eötvös Lóránd
2022 Photographing Central Asia  
Central Asia was an important place of investigation for Hungarian explorers searching for their presumed ancestors in Inner Asia. This was especially so after Ármin Vámbéry's travels there in 1861-1863. Vámbéry gave one of the very few detailed European personal accounts of this region before the Russian invasion. György Almásy, who came from an aristocratic background in the west of Hungary, regarded himself as Vámbéry's follower, in particular through his establishment of a research
more » ... cture in Kazakh and Kyrgyz territories. At the very beginning of the twentieth century, he led two expeditions to the region to study the people, flora and fauna of the Semirechie region. After his first journey he published one of the best written monographs about the region. Unfortunately, it was only published in Hungarian. Sadly, he wrote almost nothing about his second expedition. Very recently, there has been an attempt to publish his letters and diary about this second expedition, including a collection of photographs found in two photo albums preserved by his granddaughter. Based on our research and fieldwork in the region, this article introduces the practice of Hungarian field-oriented orientalist anthropologists in the twentieth century by analysing Almásy's personal relationships, network-building capacities and approaches towards the people in the research field and by examining the photographs he took in 1906 in the Kazakh and Kyrgyz regions.
doi:10.1515/9783110754469-005 fatcat:tkhqtvsazbbq5fft3y74vcfky4