Collecting localities



Biographical data


Seligman(n), Charles Gabriel


(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 1: Cyclopaedia of collectors)

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 5: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement I)


Born: 1873, London, England. Died: 1940, Oxford, England.



M.D. University of London in 1905. Educated at St Thomas’s Hospital, medical doctor; anthropologist-ethnologist. From 1913-34 Professor of Ethnology in the University of London. He visited New Guinea twice (see below). He also made ethnographic investigations in Ceylon (1907-08) and in Africa (Egypt and Sudan), with his wife Brenda Z. Seligman.

The Cambridge Expedition (see below) was supplemented by an expedition to Sarawak, by an invitation of Ch. Hose (see there).

After 1914 he dropped the last letter of his surname.


Collecting localities:

In 1898-99 with the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits, S of New Guinea, leader A.C. Haddon.1 Seligmann made an earlier start to gain some ethnological experience in N. Queensland, where he worked for several months in the Cape York Peninsula; he joined the expedition in Thursday Isl. (Apr. 22, 1898); via Dungeness -, Rennell - (Mauar) and Darnley Isl. (Èrub) to Murray Isl. (May 6-22); Papua: Delena on Hall Sound (26-28); via Haidana Isl. (Borobada) to Port Moresby (31-June 1): by boat to Kaila (Gaile) (2), and Kapa-Kapa (3); Hula (4); by canoe to the estate of R.E. Guise and crossing the Hood Peninsula by buggy to Kalo; visit to Babaka (6), Kerepunu, and Alukune (Harukune); Bulaa; Kapa-Kapa (15) and visit to Vatorata and Ikoro; proceeding to Kaile, and trip to Gomoridobo (16); back to Port Moresby (16); excursion in the hinterland, climbing Mt Werirata (18) and back via Taburi; S. by boat to Kaile and Kapa-Kapa, paying a visit to Rigo (25); Port Moresby (27-July 6); Mekeo Distr. (6-17); Yule Isl.; Aug. 24 part of the expedition proceeded to Sarawak; the others at Daru (Sept. 12-14); Mabuiag (Jervis Isl.) (17-20); Oct. 22 left for Saibai etc.; Thursday Isl. (till Nov. 14); leaving (15) to Sarawak by way of Hongkong (28); Singapore (Dec. 9); NW. Borneo:3 Kuching (12-Jan. 3, 1899); the 4th proceeding to Limbang (8-15) and visit to Brunei; up the Limbang River (16), and its affluent the Madalam (l9), and up the Trunan (or Trikan) (22); crossing foot of a spur of Mt Mulu (or Molu); reaching the Baram River via the Malinau and Tutau (journey from Limbang to Marudi or Claudetown, taking 11 days); in the Baram Distr., Marudi (Jan. 28-Apr. 19), trip up the Tinjar (starting Feb. 6) and its tributaries, the Lobong and Dapoi, including an ascent of Mt Dulit; second trip to Pata River; work brought to a close by the end of April, leaving Marudi (20), leaving Kuching (25); arrived in London on May 31.-In 1904 with the Daniels Ethnographical Expedition to New Guinea,2 visiting: the western extremity of Papua, W of Bugi and making a partial ascent of the Bensbach River; the coastal region of the Central Division of Papua (Koita); Roro (= Rarai ? ) and Mekeo Districts, valley of St Joseph River; the southern Massim District (Wagawaga, Bartle Bay, Tubetube), and the northern Massim Distr. (Trobriand and Marshall Islands, etc.).



Herb. Kew [K]: New Guinea plants (pres. 1905). In Herb. Kew [K] also some Sarawak plants (coll. 1899).

Sapot. (coll. before Dec. 1893?) from Siak River, Sumatra in Herb. Pierre (Paris [P]).



(1) cf. detailed data, liter. etc. in Wichmann, Entd. Gesch. N.G., in Nova Guinea 22.

Seligmann contributed several papers to the Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition etc. vols 2, 3 and 5.

(2) C.G. Seligmann & W. Mersh Strong: ‘Anthropogeographical investigations in British New Guinea’ (Geogr. Journ. Lond. 27, 1906, p. 225-242, 347-365, w. maps).

C.G. Seligmann: ‘The Melanesians of British New Guinea’ (Cambridge Univ. Press 1910); and many small ethnographical papers.

(3) Cf. Geogr. J. 14, 1899, p. 302-306; Nature 60, 1899, p. 413-416; and A.C. Haddon: ‘Headhunters. Black, white, and brown’ (London 1901).


biographical data:

Who’s who 1929-40; N.I. Geogr. Meded. l, 1941, p. 145; Dict. Nat. Biogr. 1931-40, 1949; Obit. Not. Fellows R. Soc. no 10, 1941, p. 627-646, incl. bibliogr. with portr.