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Dobrizhoffer, Martin


Jesuit missionary and author; b. Friedberg, Bohemia, Sept. 7, 1718; d. Vienna, July 17, 1791. He entered the Austrian province of the Jesuits Oct. 19, 1736. He was already ordained when he arrived in Buenos Aires as a member of the expedition of Father Orosz on Jan. 1,1749. For 18 years he worked among the Abipon natives in Gran Chaco and among the northern tribes of the Guarani. After the expulsion of the Jesuits (1768), he returned to Austria and lived in Vienna until his death. From 1773 he was preacher at the court and Empress Maria Theresa frequently invited him to tell his experiences as a missionary. His excellent, objective work on this subject, the Historia de Abiponibus (3 v., Vienna 178384), was immediately translated into German by A. Krail (Vienna 178384), and into English by S. Coleridge (London 1822). This still-valuable book puts Dobrizhoffer among the pioneers of ethnology.

Bibliography: m. a. blankenburg, "German Missionary Writers in Paraguay," Mid-America 29 (1947) 122131, j. v. jacobsen, "Dobrizhoffer: Abipón Missionary," ibid. 139184. e. cardozo, Historiografía paraguaya (Mexico City 1959) 1:344351.

[h. storni]

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