Ethnological Collection

The between 1890 and 1910 created collection belongs to the department Ethnology of the Asien-Orient-Institute. It consists of about 4000 ethnographica, around 2500 black and white glass plate slides from the years 1890 until 1910, as well as around 250 aquarelles and drawings. The permanent exhibition in the pentagonal tower of the castle shows a representative selection which reflects the regional focus of the collection – the Pacific and Amazon region. The pictured clay pots belonging to the Shipibo-Conibos from Peru are one of the highlights of the exhibition. The highlight of the Ethnological Collection awaits the presentation, a wall panel – poupou – with ancestor representation of the Maoris from New Zealand, which came to Europe during James Cook’s first trip to the South Seas (1768–1771). Because of its uniqueness it is still under lock and key.

To the collection in the eMuseum (selection)

Highlights of the Collection

During James Cook’s first South Sea trip this Maori carving was gifted to the expedition participant, Joseph Banks. The native name of the work is poupou. It was produced out of totara wood and is dyed red (New Zealand, mid 18th century)
“Tatanua“ – mask from the Malanggan – complex of the island New Ireland (Papua-New Guinea)
Malanggan – figures in the Tübingen exhibition (New Ireland, Papua-New Guinea)

Visit museum

Opening hours

Wed to Sun from 10am to 5pm
Thurs from 10am to 7pm
(Student office hours for the Ethnological Collection: Wed. 1 to 5 p.m. at MUT | Weltkulturen)


Group and school tours by appointment


Dr. Markus Schleiter
Tel: 07071-2978537

Send email


Adults: 5€
Reduced: 3€ (children, pupils, students, pensioners, severely disabled people)
Family ticket: 12€
Students of Tübingen: Free of charge


WeltKulturen | Pentagonal Tower
Burgsteige 11 | Hohentübingen Castle
72070 Tübingen