Among the Warriors of Nias

Full English Text Available

April 22nd 1886. Elio Modigliani, Florentine anthropologist in his twenties, lands on the island of Nias, home to head hunters, whom not even the Dutch dare challenge. Accompanied by four Genovese trackers, Modigliani explores the wildest regions of this island, through wars, epidemics and slave merchants. He returned from his voyages unscathed, with an amazing knowledge. But Modigliani also had a secret mission: bringing human skulls back to the Ethnographic Museum in Florence so as to be able to confirm Cesare Lombroso’s racist theories. Events turn his travels into a spiritual journey, from a colonialist ideology to empathy towards other cultures, leading him to conclusions that are as far as possible from racism. Because Modigliani was not killed and robbed. More than one century later another Florentine, Vanni Puccioni, followed Modigliani’s traces in search of an explanation of the mystery of the anthropologist’s survival.

In this volume Puccioni gives us an intense, vivid outline of this forerunner [Modigliani] unjustly ignored or underestimated in the field of human sciences.

La Nazione

The Florentine Indiana Jones, who lived in the jungle to learn to know the “other” […] Modigliani’s mystery is unveiled in Puccioni’s book, which is enriched by pictures of Nias today, compared with those taken in 1886.

La Repubblica


Rights Sold: Italy [Marsilio], Indonesia [Gramedia]

Download Sell Sheet

Genre: Adventure, Travel Memoir