Sergei Kan In the past, very few anthropologists outside of a small group of specialists on the culture of the Nivkh (Gilyak) and the Ainu were familiar with the name Bronislaw Pilsudski. Much of his valuable ethnological work remained unpublished or appeared in Russian and Polish academic journals.1 Only in the last decade did this situation begin to change thanks to the work of a small but dedicated group of Russian, Polish, and Japanese scholars. Pilsudski was born in 1866 in a prominent Polish-Lithuanian noble family. His younger brother Joseph (18671935) played a major role in the reestablishment of an independent Polish state and became its first president. At age twenty Bronislaw Pilsudski began studying law at the St. Petersburg University. A year later he was arrested for "an alleged and problematic involvement in an attempt on the life of the czar Alexander III" (Majewicz 1998:17). He was tried and sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor on Sakhalin Island, Russia's infamous penal colony. In 1891 he met another political exile, Lev Shternberg (18611927), who had been conducting ethnographic research among the island's Nivkh people (Kan 2000, 2001, 2003). Shternberg inspired the young Pole to pursue ethnographic work
Arctic Anthropology – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: Mar 30, 2005
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