In the first of these images, we see the Christian Inuit family of Abraham Ulrikab at top left (1), whom Johan Adrian Jacobsen had recruited from the community of Hebron in Labrador (in what is now the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador) to become part of Carl Hagenbeck’s Völkerschauen in Germany in 1880–81. Standing is Tobias, nephew of Abraham and Ulrike, approximately twenty years old; sitting from left to right are: Ulrike (Abraham’s wife), their infant daughter Maria, Abraham, and their young daughter Sara. At top right (2) we see the “heathen” shaman Terrianiak. As bottom left (3) is his daughter Noggasak, and at bottom right (4) his wife, Paingo. (The spelling of these names varies considerably in Jacobsen’s and other accounts.) The second image, a photograph, shows Abraham and his family standing in front of their hut at one of the exhibition venues. All eight Inuit died of smallpox during the course of the traveling exhibit. Jacobsen had neglected to have them vaccinated upon their arrival in Europe. In 2014, research revealed that most of their remains were kept in the Natural History Museum in Paris, where five of the Inuit had died.

Two Inuit Families from Labrador in a Völkerschau (1880)


Source: Image 1: Lithograph by W. A. Mayn in Rudolf Virchow, “Ausserordentliche Zusammenkunft im Zoologischen Garten am 7. November 1880. Eskimos von Labrador,” Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 13. Berlin Verlag von Paul Parey, 1880, plate 14.
Image 2: Photograph: © Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg. Reprinted in Eric Ames, Carl Hagenbeck’s Empire of Entertainments. Seattle, London: University of Washington Press, 2008, p. 58.