In January 1935, the Vernay-Hopwood Chindwin Expedition departed from Rangoon to explore the Chindwin River valley on behalf of the American Museum of Natural History. The party traversed northern Burma, gathering biological specimens and ethnological artifacts for the museum.

This intriguing book includes documentation and photographs made during the journey as well as biographical narratives of its organizers, sponsors, and field scientists. The collected items, personal belongings, provisions, tools, and exchange goods carried by the expedition party tell the story of the participants’ encounters with flora, fauna, landscapes, and people, including the “head-hunting Nagas.” This account offers fascinating details of the expedition’s itinerary, cross-cultural interactions, and exchanges.

Erin L. Hasinoff is a research associate in the Division of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and an adjunct assistant professor in the Museum Studies Program at New York University.

Table of Contents
Director’s Foreword


Note to the Reader




Part I

The Anthropology of Expeditions

The Back Story

The Route

The Expedition Party

The Expedition Caravan

The Ethnic Makeup of Northern Burma

Assemblage for Anthropology

Shipped to New York

Part II

An Expedition into the Archives


Photographs of the Expedition

Image Captions

Exhibition Checklist of Things Collected En Route