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Early Photography in Albania

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The Photo Collection
of Carleton Coon
Deutsch | Shqip

Northern Albania in 1929

Carleton Coon (1904-1981) was a physical anthropologist from Wakefield, Massachusetts. He studied Egyptology and anthropology at Harvard University, where he graduated in 1925. He was a lecturer and later professor there for several years, served as curator of ethnology at the University Museum of Philadelphia, and worked for fifteen years as professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania (1948-1963). Coon carried out anthropological research in Africa (Morocco 1925, Ethiopia 1933), the Middle East, South America and India, and was the author of numerous publications, including both academic papers and popular books for the general reader. During the Second World War, he combined his scholarly travels with intelligence activities on behalf of the United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency. Carleton Coon was in Albania in 1929-1930 where he carried out an anthropometric survey of 1,067 Albanians from ten regions in the north of the country, basically measuring body sizes and shapes. This survey was completed in 1946-1947 with assistance from the Albanian community in the Boston area and led to the publication of his volume “The Mountains of Giants: a Racial and Cultural Study of the North Albanian Mountain Tribes,” Cambridge, Mass. 1950. The scholarly effect of Coon’s work was limited, however, because the science of physical anthropology and similar investigations of racial characteristics soon fell out of favour. The following photos are taken from the above-mentioned volume and from “Through Mirdite in Winter,” Boulder 2002, by his assistant Stavre Frashëri (1900-1965).

“Harvard anthropologist, Dr. Carlton Coon, taking the measurements of a mountaineer in Mirditë” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Dr. Coon (right), posing with a mountaineer in native dress, and Stavre Frashëri, his guide-interpreter” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Dr. Coon (left), with his guide-interpreter, S. Frashëri (center), and their chauffeur, shown leaning against the car that took them from Shkodër to Tirana, upon the completion of the expedition” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Man in skullcap, semi-Western clothes, and a gun in his belt. To the left, a woman of the highlands in typical folk costume” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “A typical dwelling with a barn to the left” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “A young woman riding a horse through rugged terrain” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “View showing the bare landscape, characteristic of much of the highlands traversed by Coon’s expedition” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Group picture of policemen (fronted by several civilians) in Northern Albania, shown against the background of a snow-covered mountain” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Snapshot of two boys, wearing coats that are a departure from the traditional attire of clans in Mirditë” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Tosks singing at King Zog’s birthday party, 1929” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “A rope is the best means to guide a blind man on those steep slopes” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Dr. Carleton Coon (seated, front right) and his party, taking time out for a rest on the snow-covered landscape” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “A Gheg man posing for the photographer beside his oxen-drawn cartload” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “A different type of the Gheg” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Portrait of the Gheg Albanian man” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “One member of our expedition” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “A typical Albanian Highlander wearing a kerchief around the cap and neck” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Woman with two children bedecked with strings of trinkets, characteristic of the attire of women in Mirditë” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Mrs. Coon dressed in Gheg women’s clothing (bodice) and wearing a brimless conical felt cap” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “View of street and dwellings in Northern Albania, showing the rough and cluttered character of the structures” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Country scene with woodlands and a lonely kullë” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “Scene of a kullë (tower), a fortress-like home found in Mirditë and elsewhere in northern Albania” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “View of a majestic mountain peak in the Mirditë region, one of the many such peaks in the highlands” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). “The typical mountain Gheg – Malsia e Madhe” (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). A han or inn in Puka (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). An isolated kulla of Spaç in Mirdita (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). A house in Shoshi (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). A herders’ hut in Shala (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). Tosks singing at King Zog’s birthday party in 1929, 2nd photo (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). The White Drin Bridge near Kukës (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). Raft serving as a ferry on the Drin River between Luma and Mal i Zi (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). Scene in the Mat region (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). Four bajraktars (tribal chieftains). Centre left is the bajraktar of Hoti and centre right the bajraktar of Kelmendi (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). Porters resting in the snow in Dukagjin (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). Mirdita Prince Gjon Markagjoni (1888-1966) with his wife, mother and children (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). A Sworn Virgin in Mirdita with her friend (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). A Gheg Catholic woman of Zadrima (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). Tom Tushi in Shoshi (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). Standard Dinaric Mountain Gheg faces, 1 (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). Standard Dinaric Mountain Gheg faces, 2 (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). Standard Dinaric Mountain Gheg faces, 3 (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). Standard Dinaric Mountain Gheg faces, 4 (Photo: Carleton Coon 1929). simple jquery lightboxby v5.9


Die Fotosammlung des Carleton Coon
English | Shqip

Nordalbanien im Jahre 1929

Carleton Coon (1904-1981), amerikanischer Naturwissenschaftler aus Wakefield in Massachusetts, hatte Ägyptologie und Anthropologie an der Harvard Universität studiert, wo er sein Studium im Jahre 1925 abschloss. Dort war er Assistent und anschließend als Professor tätig. Von 1948 bis 1963 war Coon Professor der Anthropologie an der Universität von Pennsylvanien sowie Kurator für Ethnologie am Universitätsmuseum von Philadelphia. Er führte anthropologische Feldforschungen in Afrika (Marokko 1925, Äthiopien 1933), im Nahen Osten, in Südamerika und in Indien durch und war Verfasser etlicher Publikationen, sowohl akademischer Schriften wie auch Bücher für das nichtwissenschaftliche Publikum. Während des Zweiten Weltkriegs verband er seine Feldforschung im Ausland mit einer Geheimdiensttätigkeit für das amerikanische Office of Strategic Services (OSS), Vorrenner der Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In den Jahren 1929-1930 führte Carleton Coon eine anthropometrische Untersuchung in Albanien durch. Dort zeichnete er die Körpergröße und andere körperliche Merkmale von 1.067 Albanern aus zehn Gebieten im Norden des Landes auf. Diese Untersuchung schloss er in den Jahren 1946-1947 mit Hilfe der albanischen Gemeinde in Boston ab und veröffentlichte sie in Buchform als The Mountains of Giants: a Racial and Cultural Study of the North Albanian Mountain Tribes [Die Berge der Riesen: eine rassische und kulturelle Untersuchung der nordalbanischen Gebirgsstämme] Cambridge, Mass. 1950. Die wissenschaftliche Auswirkung seiner Arbeit war begrenzt, da nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg die physische Anthropologie und Rassenuntersuchungen auch in der Wissenschaft heikel geworden waren. Die folgenden Aufnahmen stammen aus dem obengenannten Buch und aus dem von seinem albanischen Assistenten Stavre Frashëri (1900-1965) verfassten Band Through Mirdite in Winter [Durch Mirdita im Winter], Boulder 2002.


Koleksioni fotografik i Karlltën Kunit (Carleton Coon)
English | Deutsch

Shqipëria e Veriut në vitin 1929

Karlltën Kun (1904-1981) ishte antropolog fizik amerikan nga Uejkfijlld në Masaçusets. Studioi për egjiptologji dhe antropologji në Universitetin e Harvardit ku u diplomua në vitin 1925 dhe për disa vjet punoi atje si asistent dhe profesor. Më vonë ishte profesor i antropologjisë në Universitetin e Pensilvanisë (1948-1963) ku ishte edhe kuratori i muzeut universitar të Filadelfisë.  Kuni kreu hulumtime antropologjike në Afrikë (Marok 1925, Etiopi 1933), në Lindjen e Mesme, në Amerikën e Jugut dhe në Indi, dhe ishte autor i shumë veprave shkencore dhe popullore. Gjatë Luftë së Dytë Botërore bashkoi udhëtimet e tij shkencore me punën e zbulimit për Zyrën e Shërbimeve Strategjike (Office of Strategic Services – OSS), pararendësja e CIA-s. Gjatë viteve 1929-1930 Karlltën Kuni ndodhej në Shqipëri ku kreu një studim antropometrik mbi 1.067 shqiptarë të dhjetë zonave të Veriut, duke iu matur madhësitë dhe format të trupave të tyre. Ky studim u përfundua në vitet 1946-1947 me ndihmën e komunitetit shqiptar të Bostonit dhe rezultoi në botimin e librit të tij: “The Mountains of Giants: a Racial and Cultural Study of the North Albanian Mountain Tribes [Malësia e viganëve: studim racor dhe kulturor i fiseve të malësisë së Shqipërisë së Veriut],” Kembrixh 1950. Jehona shkencore e punës së Kunit ishte e kufizuar duke qenë se, pas Luftë së Dytë Botërore, studime të tilla të antropologjisë fizike dhe të tipareve racore u bënë tabu apo kishin humbur interes. Interesant megjithatë kanë mbetur fotografitë. Fotot e këtij koleksioni burojnë nga vëllimi i sipërpërmendur dhe nga libri i asistentit të tij shqiptar, Stavre Frashëri (1900-1965), “Përmes Mirditës në dimër”, Korçë 1930, në versionin anglisht “Through Mirdite in Winter,” Boulldër 2002.