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Bernhard Havestadt

A German Jesuit; b. at Cologne, February 27, 1714; died at Munster after 1778

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Havestadt, BERNHARD, a German Jesuit; b. at Cologne, February 27, 1714; died at Munster after 1778. He entered the Lower-Rhenish province of the order on October 20, 1732, and in 1746 went to Chile. He was one of the 102 German Jesuits who labored on the Chilian mission between 1720-67, and in the twenty years of his sojourn in the country, spent mostly among the Araucanian Indians, he displayed remarkable energy and ability. With his splendid linguistic gifts, knowing more or less perfectly nine languages, he took up with enthusiasm the study of Chilidugu, which, in his opinion, “towered over all other languages as the Andes over all other mountains”. The result of these studies appeared in a work of great linguistic importance: “Chilidugu, sive Res Chilenses, vel descriptio status tum naturalis, tum civilis, cum moralis regni populique Chilensis, inserta suis locis perfectae ad Chilensem linguam manuductioni etc.” (3 vols., Munster, 1777). This work was written in Germany after the expulsion of the Jesuits from the Spanish colonies; it had been originally composed in Spanish, and was now issued in Latin. Besides a grammar and dictionary, it includes copious specimens of the native Chilian tongue, hymns, and valuable ethnographic notes, etc. The work was reissued in two volumes by the well-known Americanist, Dr. Julius Platzmann (Leipzig, 1883), under its original title, “Chilidugu sive tractatus linguae Chilensis” (see Zarncke, “Literar. Centralblatt”, 1883, col. 693).

A. HUONDER


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