Returning to the Pacific: Krämer’s Third Expedition (1906-1907) 

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Chapter Two. Krämer in Samoa

During the last decade of the nineteenth century Dr. Augustin Krämer visited Samoa on two occasions. The first trip, spanning the period from 1893-1895, saw him there as a Marinestabsarzt (Navy Surgeon) and as a member of the Reichsmarine (German Navy). The second journey, from 1897 to 1899, was more in a private capacity,motivated by his interest in natural science. His time in Samoa had a profound influence on Krämer‟s professional career, as his focus on natural science was gradually replaced by a growing interest in Völkerkunde (Ethnology). This growing interest is reflected in Krämer‟s deep interest in Samoan culture. At this point it needs to be stressed, that Krämer‟s shift of interest, as well as his presence in Samoa, did not take place within a social or political vacuum. His travels to Samoa coincided with an important part of Samoan history, which saw Samoans not only involved in civil war(s), but also at the heart of a colonial-political struggle between Germany, Britain and the USA. By investigating the colonial context as well as by examining Krämer‟s journeys to Samoa, this chapter aims to explore and explain Krämer‟s shift of interest to ethnology and motivation in his research. In doing so it will demonstrate that Krämer‟s personal development was as much shaped by his own experiences, contacts and working methods, as it was by the underlying colonial situation in Samoa.

First travels to the Pacific

Augustin Krämer first arrived in Samoa on 31 August 1893. As a Navy Surgeon, he was a crew member onboard the light cruiser SMS Bussard, which was making its way to Apia harbour. For Krämer it marked the official beginning of a two year deployment onboard the Bussard, which lasted until his departure from Samoa in July 1895. Krämer, along with the 165 crew, had taken over the Bussard in Sydney just a few days earlier. The Navy relief team of which he was part had left Bremerhaven in July that year to travel by liner via Aden to Sydney.The Bussard had been stationed in Apia since 1891 and remained there until 1898.2 From its base in Apia the Bussard frequently travelled to its logistic ports in Sydney,Australia and Auckland, New Zealand, usually on a 3 to 4 month turn around.3 These regular tours were not only ordered to secure and protect Germany‟s military and economic interests in the Pacific, but also „to show the presence of the German flag‟.4
In this sense the Bussard can be regarded as an example of Germany‟s increasing political and colonial aspirations in the region at the end of the nineteenth century.Germany‟s original interest in the region had been mainly economic, and hence of a private nature. However, from the late 1870s onwards the German empire began to pursue a more aggressive colonial policy, supporting existing undertakings, as well as encouraging further German colonial and economic endeavours.5 True to the motto „the flag follows trade‟, German warships were frequently despatched to the Pacific in order to provide support and protection for the growing commercial empire.6 Samoa,which was generally referred to as „the pearl of the South Seas‟, played an important role within this development.The three islands Savai‟i, Upolu and Tutuila are the most important of the fourteen islands which form the Samoa group. Savai‟i in the west, although sparsely populated, is the biggest island in the group. The second largest island Upolu, in contrast, is densely populated, with the port town of Apia lying on its north coast. The smaller islands of Manu‟a and Tutuila, which contains the deep harbour of Pago Pago, lie just a few miles to the east. From the mid-nineteenth century these islands had become the focal point of German, British and American colonial and economic interests.

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Contents
Acknowledgments 
List of Maps and Illustrations 
Chapter One Introduction 
Chapter Two Krämer in Samoa 
Chapter Three Die Samoa-Inseln: Krämer’s Venture into Ethnology 
Chapter Four Returning to the Pacific: Krämer’s Third Expedition (1906-1907) 
Chapter Five Krämer’s Fourth Voyage to the Pacific: The Deutsche Marine-Expedition 1907/09 
Chapter Six The Hamburg Südsee-Expedition: Krämer’s last Expedition to the Pacific 
Chapter Seven ‘The End of Travelling’, Krämer’s ethnological career in Germany 
Chapter Eight Conclusion
Appendix I Karl Graf von Linden 
Appendix II Felix Ritter von Luschan 

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Dr. Augustin Krämer: A German Ethnologist in the Pacific

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