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The real Dr. Funk
TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-02-25 4:54 pm   Permalink

Squid Row Mama, welcome to Tiki Central! Your absinthe-loving ways bring to mind another artist, Henri de Loutrouse-Lautrec, though I presume no parallels other than profession and preferred cocktail spirits.

Really like your web site, PeguDoug... lots of images and information assembled in a witty and well-crafted format.

------------

From what I’ve learned thus far, Dr. Bernhard Funk was a character as captivating as any I’ve encountered in life or fiction, a colorful individual from an exotic and tumultuous past like Joe Scialom, the originator of the Suffering Bastard. Jeff “Beachbum” Berry has through his writings and seminars spotlighted Joe’s life and contributions to a contemporary audience. Dr. Funk seems worthy of being accorded the same, though he apparently “tippled” more than he mixed.

A disproportionate number of recent scholarly citations regarding Dr. Funk’s life originated from the same place, an obscure 2007 working paper of the University of Auckland’s Department of German and Slavonic Studies by Leilani Burgoyne entitled “Going ‘Troppo’ in the South Pacific: Dr. Bernhard Funk of Samoa 1844–1911.” This looked like the “mother lode” of information about Dr. Funk. Just the name alone elicited a look… “going troppo” is Australian slang for “going crazy.” Unfortunately, this paper is not available in digital format, is not in print, nor is it available from sources like Amazon.com. It looked like the only way to read it would be to fly to the southern hemisphere and request to see a physical copy from a university library in Australia or New Zealand.

On one of my internet diving expeditions, I happened upon a used copy of Leilani Burgoyne’s paper at a rare bookseller in Lübeck, Germany. It finally arrived...




I’ve just started exploring it, but I am compelled to immediately share an image from it with my TC colleagues, the long sought photo of Dr. Bernhard Funk, this from late in life, with its source cited as the Regional Museum of Neubrandenburg...




-Tom


 
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thePorpoise
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Joined: Jan 23, 2011
Posts: 1249
From: Tampa Bay
Posted: 2012-02-25 8:43 pm   Permalink

viel Dank!

 
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Club Nouméa
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Joined: May 03, 2010
Posts: 345
From: Wanganui
Posted: 2012-02-26 12:28 am   Permalink

That's a great photo - it should be hanging in bamboo frames in tiki bars all around the world.

_________________

Toto, j'ai l'impression que nous ne sommes plus au Kansas !


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-02-26 08:34 am   Permalink

Well said, Porpoise!

CN, completely agree with you... that photo is going to find a place of honor somewhere proximate to my home Tiki bar.

------------

After spending a bit of time reading Leilani Burgoyne’s paper, it’s clear that she did a masterful job reconstructing the life and times of Dr. Funk, assembling a myriad of vignettes from a multitude of sources into a coherent and satisfyingly complete story. I’ll share a few highlights from her paper.

Dr. Funk’s initial foray into matrimony occurred within a year of his arrival at Apia, Samoa in 1880. It was a short-lived and disastrous marriage to Leonora Hayes, beautiful fifteen year-old daughter of the infamous American pirate, Captain William Henry “Bully” Hayes. It seems that Dr. Funk’s late father-in-law had been dispatched in 1877 after a violent confrontation with “Dutch Pete” (the ship’s cook) on a voyage from the Marshall Islands to Ascension (Pohnpei) and Strong’s (Kosrae) Islands in the Caroline group. The widowed New Zealand-born Emily Hayes and her two teenage daughters remained in Apia, the little “Cairo of the Pacific,” at the time of Dr. Funk’s arrival.

The marriage ended within six months in a publically humiliating way for Funk, as his wife sought divorce on grounds of cruelty, alleging that he had beaten her. Burgoyne’s research suggests that Dr. Funk was likely the victim of a scheme to fleece the presumably rich newly-arrived German doctor by an unscrupulous family in dire financial straits.

When Leonora left Funk, she took with her their infant son, Conrad Funk. The son was apparently known around Apia as Fred Hayes. Dr. Funk provided for the expenses of his child, and archival records indicate that his son took the old doctor in years later when he fell ill.

Bully Hayes, notorious South Seas pirate and blackbirder (slave trader), was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Jane Resture’s Oceania
web site has a wealth of information on the subject. From her web site comes the only known photograph of Dr. Funk’s former father-in-law...




Hayes named one of his ships the Leonora, after his favorite daughter. Here’s a William McDowell painting of it, also from Jane Resture’s web site...




An Australian, Louis Becke, delivered a ketch to Bully Hayes and rode as a passenger on the Leonora. A colorful character in his own right, he later wrote about Hayes...




One of his stories, “Concerning ‘Bully’ Hayes,” excerpted from The Strange Adventure Of James Shervinton and Other Stories (1902) can be freely accessed online as a Project Gutenberg eBook. Here Becke introduces Hayes (caution to the reader: remember that Becke’s words reflect the colonial usage of the times and that Hayes was engaged in the slave trade)...

Quote:
"BULLY" HAYES! Oh, halcyon days of the sixties and seventies, when the Pacific was not, as now, patrolled by men-of-war from lonely Pylstaart, in the Friendlies, to the low-lying far-away Marshalls and the coral lagoons of the north-west; when the Queensland schooners ran full "nigger" cargoes to Bundaberg, Maryborough, and Port Mackay; when the Government agents, drunk nine days out of ten, did as much recruiting as the recruiters themselves, and drew—even as they may draw to-day—thumping bonuses from the planters sub rosa! In those days the nigger-catching fleet from the Hawaiian Islands cruised right away south to palm-clad Arorai, in the Line Islands, and ran the Queensland ships close in the business. They came down from Honolulu in ballast-trim, save for the liquor and firearms, and went back full of a sweating mass of black-haired, copper-coloured Line Islanders, driven below at dark to take their chance of being smothered if it came on to blow. Better for them had it so happened, as befel the Tahiti a few years ago when four hundred of these poor people went to the bottom on their way to slavery in San José de Guatemala.

Merry times, indeed, had those who ran the labour vessels then in the trade, when Queensland rivalled the Hawaiian Islands in the exciting business of "black-birding," and when Captain William Henry Hayes, of Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.—vulgarly called "Bully" Hayes—came twice a year to fair Samoa with full cargoes of oil, copra, and brown-skinned kanakas, all obtained on the stalwart captain's peculiar time-payment system.




It’s kind of curious that the Federated States of Micronesia issued postal stamps in 1986 depicting various events surrounding Hayes...




-Tom


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Limbo Lizard
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Joined: Aug 24, 2006
Posts: 691
From: Aboard the 'Leaky Tiki', Dallas
Posted: 2012-02-27 12:52 pm   Permalink

In Michener's book, Rascals in Paradise, Chapter 7 is Bully Hayes, South Sea Buccaneer. I expect many of us have it in our home library.
Didn't know about his posthumous connection to Dr. Funk, though.


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-02-29 3:13 pm   Permalink

Limbo Lizard, Rascals in Paradise is one Michener book that I don’t have on my bookshelf, but probably should.

I don’t recall seeing this, but there was a 1983 movie, Nate and Hayes, loosely based on the life of Bully Hayes, starring Tommy Lee Jones as Hayes. It is apparently available on DVD...




There’s even a
Bully Hayes Restaurant & Bar, located in Akaroa, New Zealand...




Here are a couple of 19th century newspaper articles from the National Library of New Zealand archives that report the demise of Bully Hayes. The second one mentions the wife and children living on Samoa, later encountered by Dr. Funk, much to his detriment...

Taranaki Herald October 8, 1877




Evening Post October 27, 1877












Here’s one more article that is insightful on the character of Hayes, and also presaged the movie to come more than three quarters of a century later...

Southland Times August 25, 1903











-Tom


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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-02-29 7:19 pm   Permalink

I say, some people lived the life of movies - before there were any.

I come late to this party in congratulating you to this find, Tom. I was busy on the desert island of Palm Springs, fishing for other prey:





I am looking forward to further posts about the Dr. Funk find. And I just now found your findings ( ) about Augustin Kraemer! What was it with all these Germans being into Pacific ethnography! It appears he did for Samoa what Karl von den Steinen did for the culture of the Marquesas Islands:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=31804&forum=1&vpost=443195



[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2012-02-29 23:31 ]


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-03-01 10:40 am   Permalink

Sven, I followed the Palm Springs Modernism Week thread with great interest... it’s events like that that make me wish Florida and California weren’t so far apart. Looking forward to seeing you soon at Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale.

In that second photo, who’s the predator and who’s the prey? Beautiful shot!

There’s definitely more to share on Dr. Funk, and I look forward to posting as time permits.

One thing that’s readily apparent from this research: the 19th and early 20th centuries were fascinating times in Oceania with an oft-times incendiary intersection of colonial powers and interests in competition and conflict with each other and with indigenous populations. I’m confounded by the many connections among historic characters, events and places, considering the large distances and correspondingly great times of transit involved in this huge region. I wouldn’t have thought the probabilities that high absent commercial air travel, the internet and cell phones. And we don’t know but a fraction of it, given that records were spotty to begin with or did not survive to our times. But we are fortunate that the Germans and the missionaries were methodical in cataloging, preserving and publishing their explorations, experiences and administrative dealings. New Zealand and Australian colonial and newspaper records also serve nicely to fill in the gaps.

Here’s a photo of Dr. Augustin Krämer, Navy Surgeon and naturalist, from Sven Mönter’s thesis cited in an earlier post of this thread...




-Tom


 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-03-01 10:58 am   Permalink

Cool! I share your fascination for the real PRE-Pre-Tiki histories of Western Polynesiacs.

Here is my favorite photo of Karl von den Steinen:



Nice collection!




 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-03-02 2:44 pm   Permalink

Continuing Dr. Funk’s story as recounted by Leilani Burgoyne in “Going ‘Troppo’ in the South Pacific: Dr. Bernhard Funk of Samoa 1844–1911”...

When we last left Dr. Funk, he had just experienced a very public, unpleasant marital separation in 1881, followed by divorce in 1882, after only six months of marriage to the daughter of a South Seas pirate.

Though he was unlucky in love and marriage the first time, our courageous doctor tried again by 1888 and apparently found a lasting soul mate in the daughter of Talea, a Samoan chief. Her name was Senitima, and she was described as both charming and intelligent. Here’s her photo from Leilani’s paper, its source cited as the Regional Museum of Neubrandenburg...




Senitima quickly became fluent in perfect German as well as English, and adopted a European lifestyle, continuing to do so even after her husband’s death in 1911.

Some of you may have noticed a slight discrepancy in marriage dates between the 1893 stated by Dr. Funk’s great grandniece in the Samoa Observer article previously posted
here and the "by 1888" of Leilani’s paper. It was indeed a long time ago...

There’s no information on how Dr. Funk and Senitima met, but it’s clear from the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson and Dr. Augustin Krämer that they went to social functions everywhere as a pair. An example of this is found in a group wedding photo taken in front of the British Consulate in Samoa between 1890 and 1898, from the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, New Zealand (per Leilani, Dr. Funk and Senitima are in the second row, far right)...




Here’s the relevant area of the photo, showing Senitima and Dr. Funk, as well as another individual on the row below...




After Dr. Funk’s death, Senitima received two payments from the German administration, one in 1912 and another in 1914, for “helping to spread the German language in Samoa.” Leilani cites this as further evidence of the high level of respect accorded this Samoan woman.

Senitima was buried in her home village of Iva, on the neighboring island of Savai`i. Inseparable from her husband in life, their graves lie on opposite sides of the world.

In her paper, Leilani cites with grateful appreciation the help of Senitima’s grandniece, Nina Kirifi-Alai. After a bit of searching, I located Nina Kirifi-Alai, currently Director of the University of Otago’s Pacific Island Centre in Dunedin, New Zealand. Here she is in a photo taken with the US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, David Huebner, when he visited Dunedin on April 7, 2010...




Note the beautiful Oceanic artwork, including the Cook Islands Fisherman’s God above the Ambassador’s head...




Nina graduated from the University of Auckland with Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Women’s Studies and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degrees. She is from Iva, Savai`i, Samoa, and holds the high chief title of Tofilau. Married with 3 children, she is also a poet. Her poems are published in various anthologies, including A Good Handful: Great New Zealand Sex Poems...




And Whetu Moana: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English...




-Tom

[ This Message was edited by: TikiTomD 2012-03-05 04:49 ]


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-03-04 4:32 pm   Permalink

Next, a bit of what’s known about Dr. Funk’s beginnings and his life before he came to Samoa, again recapped from Leilani Burgoyne’s “Going ‘Troppo’ in the South Pacific: Dr. Bernhard Funk of Samoa 1844–1911”...

Dr. Funk was born August 8, 1844 in Neubrandenburg, a town on Lake Tollensesee in what is now northeastern Germany. At the time, there was no unified country of Germany, only separate feudal states. Neubrandenburg was itself part of the Grand Duchy of Mecklinburg-Strelitz. According to Neubrandenburg’s
web site, most of Europe’s saunas are today made there, as well as a majority of the world’s engine block heaters. The town has surviving brick Gothic fortifications and buildings from Europe’s medieval past.

Funk was the oldest of seven children. His father was a medical practitioner. After graduating from grammar school in Neubrandenburg, young Bernhard enrolled at the University of Berlin, then the University of Tübingen, where he completed his medical studies.

Young Dr. Funk then joined the Prussian army as a surgeon serving during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to 1871, where he treated the trauma and grievous wounds resulting from horse cavalry charges, bayoneting, artillery bombardment and rifle wounds under battlefield conditions. The experience surely hardened the man and well prepared him to treat the survivors of Samoan civil wars, shark attacks and seafaring accidents posted about earlier in this thread.

Armed group, Samoa, between 1885 and 1898
Reference Number: PA1-o-547-16

Group of men and women armed with traditional weapons, Samoa, taken probably in the 1890s by an unknown photographer



Men with guns at Fort Samoa in Apia, Samoa, 1888
Reference Number: 1/2-020681-F

Men with guns at Fort Samoa, Apia, Samoa, during the civil war of in 1888-9... photograph taken by Alfred James Tattersall



Samoan war canoe, 1890s
Reference Number: 1/2-094328-F

Samoan war canoe with people crowded onto its overhanging decks... photographed by Alfred James Tattersall in the 1890s



Leilani’s paper cites an interesting anecdote about Dr. Funk. In his unpublished work, Samoan Personalities, George Westbrook recalled that the old doctor’s face and head had numerous battle scars. On seeing a photograph of himself that Westbrook had retouched to hide the scars, Funk was indignant...

Quote:
”Who is this?” he said, “it is certainly not me, where are the scars on my face and head? Do you know that I have been an army officer and gone through a German university? What does the photographer think of when he tries to make me look like a pretty Jane?”



One might wonder if the old doctor also suffered lasting scars on his hands and arms from the antiseptic surgical technique employed by the Prussian army during the Franco-Prussian War. This technique was based on the work of Lister and involved spraying carbolic acid (phenol) on the surgical dressings and wounds. It greatly reduced patient mortality from infection, but the antiseptic agent that transferred to the surgeon’s hands and instruments was capable of causing second and third degree chemical burns on prolonged or repeated exposure.

1870-71 Franco-Prussian War commemorative medal



-Tom


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Q-tiki
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Joined: Sep 22, 2011
Posts: 199
From: East TN
Posted: 2012-03-05 06:58 am   Permalink

Tom,
You are getting some serious research done! This is great stuff! I need to make myself a "Dr. Funk" and restart this thread over again!!

Cudos to you and the other contributors for the wealth of information!

Cheers!


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-03-05 08:13 am   Permalink

The Dr. Funk and Augustin Kraemer stories illustrate an interesting dichotomy of the history of colonization: That while the main reason for any Western country to take over some exotic nation was to increase its economic and strategic power (with religious conversion being used as a tool for such means), and much original culture was destroyed in the course of such egotistical endeavors, it brought with it an interesting cultural exchange on the individual human level, with many of the "foreign agents" of colonization carrying a genuine love for that culture, often acting as preservationists of its traditions and arts, by recording and collecting these.

In regards to this part:

Quote:

On 2012-03-04 16:32, TikiTomD wrote:

Leilani’s paper cites an interesting anecdote about Dr. Funk. In his unpublished work George Westbrook recalled that the old doctor’s face and head had numerous battle scars. On seeing a photograph of himself that Westbrook had retouched to hide the scars, Funk was indignant...

Quote:
”Who is this?” he said, “it is certainly not me, where are the scars on my face and head? Do you know that I have been an army officer and gone through a German university? What does the photographer think of when he tries to make me look like a pretty Jane?”





What George Westbrook could not have known is that Dr. Funk's reaction most likely was caused by the fact that in his generation, the "Schmiss", a facial scar brought on by a fraternity duel with sharp blades, was seen as a life-long sign of honor and valor. Germany had a very strong martial tradition that pervaded all walks of life before it was horribly manipulated and abused by the Nazis for their world domination philosophy.

For those who care to read more about this archaic custom, here is a great website discussing the ritualistic fencing rules of German 19th Century fraternities, with scary "Schmiss" illustrations at the end:

http://www.pickelhauben.net/articles/Students.htm

Here are some excerpts:



"For a student and all of German Society, the badge of courage was the Schmiss (The dueling scar, or sometimes called the Renommierschmiss, or bragging scar), mostly on the left side of the face, where blows would fall from a right-handed duelist. This was borne by a generation of doctors, jurists, professors and officials, certifying the owner's claim to manly stature. The dueling scar was certain to attract attention because it signified courage and breeding. There are stories that students would resort to self-infliction with a razor. Those who received their Schmiss in this less honorable way would frequently enhance it by pulling the wound apart and irritate it by pouring in wine or sewing horse hair into the gash."

As a matter of fact, the rest of the body was well protected, with only the face and head be left open, resulting in strange "Devo"-like outfits:



Quoting further from the site:

"Another example of a Schmiss, this one from the collection of Mike Huxley. Stories relate that females were attracted to people with such a scar. Somehow I doubt that. I just cannot imagine my wife waking up next to this face and thinking it is a bonus.":



I believe that, despite Dr.Funk probably also carrying some real battle scars from his war years, his attitude of "being made into a plain (not pretty) Jane" by the retouching of his photo is based on the fact that his face bore one or more "Schmiss" scars. Furthermore, to native Polynesian women, whose societies had traditions of tattooing and self-scarification, the scars most likely WERE perceived as marks of a great, manly warrior.

OK Tom, next: A photo of the good doctor WITH facial scars (probably on the left side of his face), please!

I leave you with this great illustration of a weird German fraternity "Beer handshake" custom:






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virani
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Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1438
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2012-03-05 09:30 am   Permalink

wow, I had to re-read the entire thread, but what a thread. Thanks Tom and Sven for your researches and sharing it here.

 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (5 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 682
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-03-05 4:29 pm   Permalink

Q-tiki and virani, pleased that you’re enjoying the thread as much as we’re enjoying the research...

Sven, your explanation of the “Schmiss” greatly illuminates... now I understand what the good doctor meant regarding “Do you know that I have been an army officer and gone through a German university?” I could understand scars and being an army officer, but, until now, not the “German university” part of this. Clearly he was referring to the “badge of courage” earned in a fraternity fencing duel. Cool that you found a photograph illustrating it from Tübingen, right where Funk went to medical school!

I think that Funk’s reaction was indeed misunderstood by Westbrook and researcher alike. It was taken as evidence of Dr. Funk’s “volatile and tenacious” character. That may have also been accurate, but given his upbringing, this now seems more the natural reaction of a man with a deep sense of pride in accomplishment who endured much to achieve it.

I’m working on a lead to acquire a copy of this 17-year old out-of-print Local History Yearbook of the Regional Museum of Neubrandenburg, containing an article by Peter Maubach entitled “Dr. Bernhard Funk (1844-1911) : ein Neubrandenburger in der Südsee” (translation: “Dr Bernhard Funk (1844-1911): a Neubrandenburger in the South Seas”)...




The hope is it will have additional photographs of Dr. Funk, perhaps even one with facial scars At the very least, this one will test my agility with the Google Translator.

-Tom


 
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