Short Portrait: Wolfgang Lindig

Wolfgang Lindig
Wolfgang Lindig

Wolfgang Lindig was born 1925 in Aschersleben and grew up in Leipzig (1943). He joined the German Navy (beginning of 1944) and in summer was sent to Holland (Atlantic Wall), where he became prisoner of war in early november 44 by the British Forces.

1948 return to Germany. He took up studies - Geography, including Völkerkunde (with Karl-Heinz Dietzel), English Language, Romanic Languages - in Marburg.

1950-51 Scholarship to study cultural anthropology in the US at University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Field trips to Uinta-Houray-Reservation/Northern Ute Indians.

After his return to Germany, Lindig studied Ethnology (cultural anthropology) as a major in Marburg, from 1952 onwards in Mainz (with Wilhelm Emil Mühlmann), Sociology and Prehistory as minors. He graduated in1958 with a Dissertation on the Seri in Sonora/NW-Mexico.

For a short period he worked at Lindenmuseum/Stuttgart (Kleines Praktikum) , afterwards as scientific assistant at the Free University Berlin (Prehistory).

1962 assistant at Frobenius-Institut/Frankfurt am Main, lecturing on Mainland Southeast Asia and North America. Also lecturer at Geographical Institute/Giessen (until 1970).

1965 assistant at Seminar für Völkerkunde in Frankfurt/Main, interim Chair of Frobenius-Institut after sudden death of CA Schmitz.

1968 habilitation on Geheimbünde und Männerbünde der Omaha und Irokesen (Secret Societies and Men's Societies among the Omaha and Iroquois), with Prof. Eike Haberland.

Privatdozent, 1972 Professor. Fieldwork in Utah, American Southwest (Pueblo, Navajo, Papago) and in Canada (Ojibwa on Manitoulin Island/Lake Huron).

Lindig became interested in problems on the prehistory of Indian cultures during the Formative in the Midwest (field excursion 1978). Several field excursions to Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico (Highland and Yucatan). Multi-year research project on transcultural problems among Northern American Indians (Resistance, Identity and Cultural Persistence among North American Indians), financed by Volkswagen-Foundation, including field researches of doctoral students.

It took several years to replace Lindigs position with a North Americanist after his official retirement in 1990 - so he stayed as a professor until 1993 when Christian Feest was appointed Lindigs successor.

(photo from 1966 by courtesy of Wolfgang Lindig; information provided by Lindig April 2nd, 2014)

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