Home    Number 2, 2017

Stefano Sommier: Travels of an Italian Naturalist through Siberia and Ural

[Stefano Somm’ie: puteshestviia ital’ianskogo naturalista po Sibiri i Uralu]

Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 05.04.2016

Accepted: 01.07.2016

About author(s)

Anna Perevalova | perevalova.ann@gmail.com | Geo-politics and Auxiliary Sciences High Studies Institute (Via Tevere 20, Piano 2, c/o Aletheia, Roma, 00198, Italia)

Elena Perevalova | elena_perevalova@mail.ru | Institute of History and Archaeology, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (16 Sofii Kovalevskoy St., Ekaterinburg, 620137, Russia)


Stefano Sommier, travel, Russia, people of Siberia and Ural, Florentine school of social anthropology, visual anthropology


The article focuses on the travels of the nineteenth-century Italian naturalist Stefano Sommier in Russia. His trips to Siberia in 1880 and Ural in 1887 resulted in a series of papers and ethnographic descriptions that significantly contributed to the knowledge of the Russian North and its peoples in Italy and other European countries. Being a broadly educated encyclopedist, Sommier was an important figure in the development of the Florentine school of social anthropology and worked at the juncture of different scholarly fields. He enjoyed traveling as much as learning. The outcome of his first trip to Russia was the book on the “Summer in Siberia among the Ostyaks, the Samoyeds, the Zyryan, the Tatar, the Kyrgis, and the Bashkir” (Un estate in Siberia fra Ostiacchi, Samoiedi, Sirieni, Tatari, Kirhisi e Baskiri) which appeared in 1885. Only a century and a quarter later was it published in Russian for the first time. The authors discuss the importance of this and other works by Sommier for contemporary research in anthropology and ethnography of Russia.


Perevalova, A.A., and E.V. Perevalova. 2017. Stefano Somm’ie: puteshestviia ital’ianskogo naturalista po Sibiri i Uralu [Stefano Sommier: Travels of an Italian Naturalist through Siberia and Ural]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 2: 154-165

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