Navigation auf


Ethnographic Museum

Honeymoon? 5 Questions on the ‘Hans Paasche Collection’ from East Africa

22 May 2022 to 14 April 2024


To the source of the Nile with 60 porters: this is how Hans and Ellen Paasche travel through the East African Great Lakes Region in 1909/1910. They bring back hundreds of objects from their honeymoon. For Hans Paasche it is not his first time in East Africa. A few years earlier, as a German naval officer, he was involved in the fight against insurgents in the colony of German East Africa. Already during that time he collected objects. The Paasches’ collection came to Zurich in 1922.

While much is known about the Paasches' biography and views, not least through Hans Paasche's publications, we know almost nothing about the exact origin of the objects and the people to whom they once belonged. How did Hans and Ellen Paasche meet these people? Which objects come from their honeymoon, which ones did Hans Paasche collect as a colonial soldier? And what significance do the objects have today for the descendants of their creators? The workshop exhibition provides insights into current research between ethnology, provenance research and collaboration with experts from the region of origin.

Objects from Ellen and Hans Paasche's collection. Photo: Kathrin Leuenberger, 2022.


Workspace Series – 5 Questions on the Collections

What kind of museum does the future need? We turn to the collections and their creators with long-lasting and new questions, for example: "How and why did the objects come into our museum?" We think of the museum as an open workspace, a space for collaborative exploration and research. Along with an exhibition series, we offer insights into our work. The exhibition "Honeymoon?" kicked off the series; "Business Idea?" was the serie's second exhibition,"Looted Goods?" the third; "Mask Dances?" the fourth. In November 2023, the final workspace exhibition "Workpieces?" has completed the series.

Weiterführende Informationen


360° documentation "Honeymoon?"

More about 360° documentation "Honeymoon?"

Welcome to the virtual exhibtion!


Dr. Alexis Malefakis, curator