Vernay-Hopwood Chindwin Expedition (1935)
For information regarding the Collection please contact: hasinoff@bgc.bard.edu
Muleteers transporting specimens and supplies. "Mandalay to Lonkin, Jan. 1935." Photograph by H. C. Raven. Image VHC-D25, American Museum of Natural History Library.
Muleteers transporting specimens and supplies.
"Mandalay to Lonkin, Jan. 1935."
Photograph by H. C. Raven.
Image VHC-D25, AMNH Library.
Arthur S. Vernay at the Uyu River.
"Lonkin to Hpakan, Jan. 1935."
Photograph by H.C. Raven.
Image VHC-E3, AMNH Library.
Henry C. Raven en route from Hahti.
"Hahti and Singkaling Hkamti, Mar. 1935."
Photograph by H.C. Raven.
Image VHC-N36, AMNH Library.

In January 1935, the Vernay-Hopwood Chindwin Expedition set out from Rangoon to explore the upper reaches of the "mighty Chindwin River" on behalf of the American Museum of Natural History. The three-month expedition gathered the museum's founding biological and anthropological collections from an under researched area to the east of Burma's border with Assam and to the south of Tibet.

The expedition was financed by Arthur S. Vernay, an established New York City-based dealer in English antiques, an intrepid field associate in the AMNH's Department of Mammalogy, and a museum trustee. He assembled a diverse party of natural scientists and shikari (big-game hunters). Henry C. Raven, a comparative anatomist at the museum, joined as the lead scientist, principal filmmaker, and photographer.

The caravan was a confluence of Yunnanese muleteers, Burmese guides, and Goan skinners, who, along with British party members, were assembled from throughout the Raj. The exploratory journey brought the caravan in touch with various residents of northern Burma - Burmese, Kachin, Shan, and Naga peoples - who provisioned the enterprise and procured specimens for the museum.

Additional Resources:
• Confluences: An American Expedition to Northern Burma, 1935 (Exhibition at the Bard Graduate Center, April 4 - August 3, 2013)
Exhibition Press Brochure (PDF)
• Erin L. Hasinoff. Confluences: An American Expedition to Northern Burma, 1935 (New York: Bard Graduate Center). Distributed by Yale University Press. Book Cover (PDF)
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