The aristocrat and his cannibals

Count Festetics de Tolna’s Voyage to Oceania (1893 – 1896)


Festetics’ first book, ‘Among the Cannibals’, was published in 1903 followed by the publication of the second volume in 1904: ‘Towards the Reef of Minicoy’. These two volumes are filled with fascinating information and fired thousands of their readers with an enthusiasm that lasted for years.
This exhibition ‘The aristocrat and his cannibals’ is designed as the chronicle of a voyage that spanned 12 destinations, selected from Festectics’ writings about the islands and archipelago of Oceania. This itinerary explores the significant aspects of the imaginary, ideological, ethnographic and historical context of the Pacific region in the late 19th century. During the course of his exploration on board his yacht, Tolna, he brought back stories, notes, artefacts and photos.
The catalogue is a quasi-journalistic chronicle of the voyage and the navigation chart serves as a guide for visitors. At each stopover, the reader navigates his way past events, encounters and individuals, in a calmer manner than that in which the talented and perspicacious observer experienced them.


144 pages • 22 x 28 cm • 14,20 €
Co-published by musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac / Actes Sud 2007
ISBN: 9782742769889