HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in Spanish) on Italian missionary and ethnographer Massimino Giannecchini.
Combès, Isabelle & Pilar Garcia Jordán, 2022. “Fray Doroteo Giannecchini: lingüista, etnógrafo y explorador del Chaco boliviano”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Born in Tuscany, Massimino Candido Regolo Giannecchini (1837-1900) was a Franciscan missionary, ordained in 1854 under the name Doroteo. In January 1860 he went to Tarija, in the south of Bolivia. For more than three decades, he was a missionary among Indigenous communities of the Chaco, such as the Chiriguanos and the Tobas. He could not manage to publish his abundant linguistic and ethnographic materials during his lifetime, but his manuscripts were exploited and used throughout the twentieth century by numerous authors who did not always acknowledge their debt to him. The publication in 1996 of his Historia natural, etnografía, geografía, lingüística del Chaco boliviano (Natural history, ethnography, geography and linguistics of the Bolivian Chaco) unveiled his important contributions and made him an inescapable reference for Chaco history, ethnography and linguistics. In this in-depth presentation of this Italian scholarly missionary, Combès and García contextualize his ethnographic endeavors and conclude that despite the inevitable biases linked to his evangelizing action “his sharp observations and reflections on social life, the status of women and political organization, among other topics, place Giannecchini in the pantheon of great missionary ethnographers”.