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Wilhelm Weike, a 23-year old handyman from Minden/Germany, accidentally found himself spending the year of 1883-84 among Inuit and wintering with whalers on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. The fledgling scientist Franz Boas (1858-1942), later the eminent cultural anthropologist, hired Weike to attend to and assist him in his geographical and ethnological research following the first Polar Year of 1882-83. Weike’s journal is a fascinating text and an exceptional piece of working-class literature. Ludger Müller-Wille and Bernd Gieseking have edited and annotated Weike’s journal extensively. They present his biography and highlight his observations and his contributions to Boas’s scientific work.

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