Krämer Translation Project

During the German administration of the pacific islands, a South Sea Expedition was organized by the Hamburg Museum. Anthropologists were sent out to the various islands to do in-depth studies on the people and culture, which resulted in the publication of a series of invaluable books, called “Ergebnisse der Südsee-Expedition, 1908-1910”. German anthropologist Dr. Augustin Krämer and his artist wife Elisabeth did the 5 volumes on Palau, while Anneliese Eilers did 2 volumes on the remote Southwest Islands, which are culturally closer to Yap, but politically part of the Republic of Palau. These 7 culturally invaluable volumes, in old German mixed with old Palauan, and full of storyboard drawings and photographs, are found in most museum libraries in Europe, and are popular with collectors, but have never been fully translated into English.

After its opening, the Etpison Museum paid two professional translators over a period of 2 years to translate two of the volumes, Krämer - volume 3 and Eilers - volume 2. Due to the difficulties encountered translating both the old German and Palauan texts, we had a hard time finding translators willing to take on the rest of the volumes. The Belau National Museum had a partial translation of Krämer - volume 2 done, their translator finalized this volume in 2010.

Thomas Schubert, a German national who started the Krämer Café restaurant at the Etpison Museum from 1999 (now located in Malakal), later became Honorary Consul of Germany to Palau, and revived the translation effort with financial support from the German Embassy in Manila in 2009. He formed a committee in 2010 with the Palau Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the two local Museums, and the Linden Museum in Stuttgart. Translators and reviewers were hired to take on the combined works, with the translated Krämer volumes 2, 3 and Eilers - 2 donated by the museums for this project.

Continuation and completion of the project under the administration of President Remengesau, 2014The Translation Project is in it's last editing stages, and the 5 Palau volumes will be available as an online download here, and for people with slow internet locally can be copied at the PCC library.

The two SW Island volume translations, as well as a printed version of all the books are expected to be finalized in 2015. The official handover ceremony of the 5 Palau book translations to the Ambassador of Germany and the President of Palau was done on May 22, 2014.

Information To Users

This translation is digitally released on July 01, 2014. This is a work in progress where ongoing edits are still being made before its final publication at the end of 2015. For edits and comments please email to

Disclaimer Statement

This translation is a product of the Ethnographic Translation Project funded through a Germany government grant in partnership with the KrämerEthnographic Translation Committee based in Palau. The contents and information contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the German Government. The rights for the publication, as a whole or in parts, of all the volumes of the Results of the South Seas Expedition 1908 – 1910 resting solely with the Hamburg Scientific Foundation in Germany.The Krämer Ethnographic Translation Committee would like to thank the Hamburg Scientific Foundation and the Hamburg Ethnological Museum for their assistance and continued support toward this project.

Start of the Translation project in 2010 under the administration of President Toribiong.

interesting fact:

Unusual for the time, Elisabeth Krämer-Bannow accompanied her husband everywhere during his travels, and collected most of the information on the women’s customs in Palau, which would have been difficult for a man to do. The Palau volumes are also the most visually attractive volumes of the whole pacific series due to her beautiful watercolor illustrations.

German Documents - PALAU - ETPISON MUSEUM
Kramer booklet cover - PALAU - ETPISON MUSEUM


Krämer Volume 1

Krämer Volume 2

Krämer Volume 3

Krämer Volume 4

Krämer Volume 5

Krämer Volume 6

Krämer Volume 7

Sven Monter's thesis on:

Dr. Augustin Krämer

Mrs. Elisabeth Krämer-Bannow