175th anniversary of the birth of ethnographer and traveler Nikolai Nikolaevich Miklukho-Maklay
On July 16, a card with an original stamp dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the birth of the ethnographer and traveler Nikolai Nikolaevich Miklukho-Maklay was released into the postal circulation
Nikolai Nikolaevich Miklukho-Maklay (1846-1888) was a Russian ethnographer, biologist, anthropologist and traveler who studied the indigenous population of Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania. He was born on July 17, 1846 in the village of Rozhdestvensky, Novgorod province, in the family of an engineer. In 1863, he entered the St. Petersburg University. From 1864 he studied at the University of Heidelberg and at the Medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig, then studied animal anatomy at the University of Jena, from which he graduated in 1868. In 1869, he made a trip to the Red Sea coast to study marine fauna.
The first studies of Miklukho-Maklay were devoted to zoology and geography. He was inclined to believe that the racial and cultural characteristics of peoples are formed under the influence of the natural and social environment. To justify this, Miklukho-Maklay decided to take a trip to the islands of the Pacific Ocean in order to study the "Papuan" race. For 15 months, the scientist lived among the Papuans and won their love and trust with his friendly behavior. In 1873, he visited the Philippines and Indonesia, in 1874-the south-west coast of New Guinea. In 1874-1875, he traveled to the Malacca Peninsula. Based on his observations, Miklukho-Maklay came to the conclusion about the species unity and kinship of human races, destroying the anti-scientific idea of the supposedly existing "lower" and "higher" races.
In 1876, he traveled to Western Micronesia and Northern Melanesia. In 1882, Miklukho-Maklay came to Russia, read a number of reports about his travels in the RGO. The Society of Lovers of Natural Science, Anthropology and Ethnography awarded him a gold medal. In Berlin, Paris and London, he introduced the scientific community to the results of his research. Miklukho-Maklay donated his diaries and scientific materials to the Academy of Sciences, and the ethnographic collections he collected are now in the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography. The greatest merit of the scientist is that he raised the question of the species unity and kinship of human races. He described the Melanesian anthropological type and proved its wide distribution in Western Oceania and on the islands of Southeast Asia. Many of the scientist's observations still remain almost the only materials on the ethnography of some areas of Oceania. During his lifetime, more than a hundred of his works on ethnography, anthropology, zoology, anatomy, geography and other sciences were published.
A mountain and a river in New Guinea, a section of the coast of New Guinea (the Miklukho-Maklay Coast), a seamount in the Pacific Ocean and a bay on Wilkes Land in Antarctica were named in honor of the scientist. In 1947, the name of Miklukho-Maklay was assigned to the Institute of Ethnography of the USSR Academy of Sciences (RAS). In 2014, the RGS established the N. N. Miklukho-Maklay Gold Medal as the highest award of the society for ethnographic research and travel.
The original stamp depicts a portrait of N. N. Miklukho-Maklay, a telescope and a notebook; the main illustration shows a drawing made by a traveler during an expedition to New Guinea.
In addition to the issue of the card with the original stamp, special stamps were made for Moscow, St. Petersburg and Penza.
Artist-designer: I. Ulyanovsk.
Circulation: 7.5 thousand copies.