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Original scientific paper

Reflections and dilemmas on the margins of ethnological maps - crisis of ethnology?

Jelka Vince-Pallua ; Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (1 MB) pages 9-17 downloads: 281* cite
APA 6th Edition
Vince-Pallua, J. (1994). Razmišljanja i dileme na marginama etnoloških karata - kriza etnologije?. Studia ethnologica Croatica, 6 (1), 9-17. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Vince-Pallua, Jelka. "Razmišljanja i dileme na marginama etnoloških karata - kriza etnologije?." Studia ethnologica Croatica, vol. 6, no. 1, 1994, pp. 9-17. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Vince-Pallua, Jelka. "Razmišljanja i dileme na marginama etnoloških karata - kriza etnologije?." Studia ethnologica Croatica 6, no. 1 (1994): 9-17.
Vince-Pallua, J. (1994). 'Razmišljanja i dileme na marginama etnoloških karata - kriza etnologije?', Studia ethnologica Croatica, 6(1), pp. 9-17. Available at: (Accessed 03 March 2021)
Vince-Pallua J. Razmišljanja i dileme na marginama etnoloških karata - kriza etnologije?. Studia ethnologica Croatica [Internet]. 1994 [cited 2021 March 03];6(1):9-17. Available from:
J. Vince-Pallua, "Razmišljanja i dileme na marginama etnoloških karata - kriza etnologije?", Studia ethnologica Croatica, vol.6, no. 1, pp. 9-17, 1994. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 03 March 2021]

The immediate inducement for this article came from the author's involvement with a question concerning "social culture" (from the questionnaires of the Ethnological Atlas of the Institute of Ethnology - Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb). It was a question that did not seam to be very suitable for treatment by ethnological cartography which needed to be supplemented before it could be resolved. The problem itself is not being discussed in this article but it served as the spiritus movens for some theoretical reflections concerning the range of the cartographic technique and factors that influence the success of work based on it, indeed about historyness and the results gained by it, etc. The author believes that it is much more difficult to show social culture than material culture on a distributional basis and supports this by cartographic material, by the questionnaires and also by theoretical discussion of G. P. Murdock. In her evaluation of the success of works and problems based on cartography she introduces the term kartografičnost (cartographyness) to describe certain material which, to her opinion, is to a much lesser extent present in social culture which is much more difficult to wrest from context. On the example of cartography she discusses the notion which, especially during the last few years is woven like a red line, the notion of the crisis of ethnology in which, roughly speaking, there are two different views or streams in ethnology - the "old" and the "new". She expresses her opinion that in the evaluation of this technique the basis of the misunderstanding lies in not distinguishing two basic questions: (1) the range of this method bearing in mind what is being enquired into, material or nonmaterial culture, and (2) differences in understanding history with the consequence of denying the historyness of the cartographic method. The author thinks that although we use the same word, history, in fact we understand it differently, as two notions, two different histories, two histories. It is stressed that ethnological maps do not aim at giving precisely documented (near) history that can be accurately dated (to reach such history ethnological maps are not necessarily needed!) because it is not cartography's aim while for the more distant past this method is useful, indeed has unique inherent possibilities. The author argues that disagreements in the understanding of history (and therefore in recognition or non-recognition of the historyness of the cartographic technique or, more drastically, in recognition of its appropriateness) arise from a basic misunderstanding of ethnological theory as V. Belaj has already highlighted - ethnology having two different definitions of its subject. For reconstruction of ethnical history which derives from the first definition of the subject of ethnology (cited in the article), cartographic technique with "its historyness" can give irreplaceable results. Finally the author points out that in taking sides for this technique one implicitly gives up any holistic relation to culture and that this approach eliminates and undercuts the other (holistic approach to culture). She suggests, however that the possibility exists, not only theoretical, to take a concrete subject "holistically" into account showing the results of both approaches (by team work?). The author thinks it would be very interesting to see what results could be reached by this "new holism"?

ethnological cartography; crisis of ethnology; holism

Hrčak ID: 68233



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