Short Portrait: Josefine Huppertz

Josefine Huppertz
Josefine Huppertz

Josephine Huppertz was born in Aachen in 1922. Between 1941 and 1946 she studied not only in Cologne, Bonn, Innsbruck and Breslau (now: Wroclaw) but also in Göttingen, Oxford and London. She attended lectures and seminars on a wide range of subjects, such as Geography, Anthropology, Geology, Prehistory, History, Philosophy and German Philology.

Huppertz graduated in Bonn in 1949, with a Ph D thesis on livestock holding among agrarian structures in Africa and Asia. Subsequently Huppertz held an assistant position at the Institute for Ancient American Studies and Ethnology in Bonn.

In 1955 she took up an assistant position at the Institute for Ethnology and African Studies in Munich, which was chaired by Hermann Baumann. Throughout the following years she took over many tasks at the newly founded institute. Due to a sickness Huppertz eventually had to leave her position.

In the early 1970s Huppertz shortly helped establishing the ethnographic collection of the House Peoples and Cultures (Haus Völker und Kulturen) by the Steyler Mission Society in St. Augustin. Thereafter, Huppertz mainly focused on establishing her self-financed study collection Aulendorf. Moreover, Huppertz visited the Easter Islands in 1988.

(Text written by Vincenz Kokot in July 2012, based on: Beer, Bettina, 2007, “Frauen in der deutschsprachigen Ethnologie”, pp. 101 - 103; photo source:

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