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  Wikipedia: Stjepan Seljan

Wikipedia: Stjepan Seljan
Stjepan Seljan
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Stjepan Seljan August 19 1875 - June 7 1936, Mirko Seljan April 5 1871 - ?

both brothers were born in Karlovac, Croatia. After finishing the basic education they started to travel across the Europe to gain the experiance and confidence with the new discoveries already in their minds . Older Mirko was in 1898 known under the name Champion of Globetrotter due to the fact that he walked the distance between Paris, France and Saint Petersburg in Russia. During their expeditions they conducted numerous observations and provided documentation later used for works in geomorphology, climatology, ethnography. It is belived that they started the journey impressed by the books or lectures by another Croatian explorer Dragutin Lerman who was in Africa as leader of Henry Morton Stanleys team. Theory of influence and encouragement of the Russian government interested in Africa at that time can not be dissmist.

They started on January 1899 leaving their birthtown for Triest - Trieste - Trst in Italy. Aftere Alexandria and Cairo - Kairo, they left along the river Nile - Nil to the Sudan. Upon the return to Cairo their direction was Port Said, Djibouti and Aden reaching Bab el Mandeb. After Obock back in Djibouti and finally to Harar and Addis Abeba in Ethiopia. There, on recommencation of several influening people from Europe, Menelik the II provided them with escort of 300 people to continue expedition to south. Mirko became the governor of this provinces with his brother Stjepan being leutenant governor. For three years they were seting the lines between Ethiopia and Kenya - Kenija, bringing the tribes under unified government of Menalik the II. Near the lake of Turkana - Rudolfovo jezero, their expedition and military camps was named Seljenville, still on maps today.

The greatest benefit of the journey was the fact that they expanded soverenity of Ethiopia to the right side of the river Omo. The lines between the states of Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya around lake Turkana are the same as drafted by the explorers at that time.In 1902 due to the political tension thay left just to be back after war between the England and France. They were highly regarded by the emperor Menalik the II. and received abuncance of gifts of which some are today in the possesion of their families, while some are on display in Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb. It is obvious today, that the journeys of the two explorers were partly influence or disrupted by world politics, but their initial intentiion was to enrich their lives and the world of with new knowledges and understanding of the world.

In April of 1903 the two brothers left for Rio de Janeiro in Brasil with the intention to enter until that time unknown areas. They were working to discover travelling and trade routs and establish posts for the government of Brasil which was interested to enhance trading and developement in east to west direction. They made contacts with the contacts with the Guarani Indian tribe around the Aguapehu river and were intensively mapping the area. With the end of 1903 thay were on the way from Salta Grande to Asuncion in Paraguay, ending their journey on Parana river in Argentina. The expedition is described in the book El Salto del Guayra, published in 1905 in Buenos Aires. Earlier in 1903, in Brasil, they established the Croatian Scientific Mission - (Mision Cientifica Croata).

In 1905 they left for the waterfals of Iguasu and later conducted the resaerch of the state of Santa Catarina. In their diaries, they described the areas thay passed trough, Indian tribes they met and of course, left numerous scatches, photographs, maps, data, memories regarding the nature and culture of that part of the world.

With the beginning of 1905, after crossing the Andes by feet and mules from Argentina, Seljans were in Chile. In Valparaiso as well inSantiago they were planning new expedition approaching the area of the Amazon river from the south side. Here, they met the immigrants from old country and established Sociedad Slava Esplatadora de Mato Grosso Sociaty for exploration of Mato Grosso, which supposed to work on public relation and to support expedition. In May of the same year they left for Montevideo in Uruguay with new friend and new explorer Franjo Pommer. Since longer period of time was needed to be properly ready for the journey, they actually started rather late, in 1908 focusing on Rio Branco and Rio Maraca rivers in tha Amazon delta. Being exhausted by delays in obtaining the permits from the government of Brasil, they decided not to waste time but to go west, back to Chile having in mind new places in Peru and Bolivia. The year 1911 past exploring the Atacama desert and area Tarapaca. In that year for the first time they entered Peru. They established Hrvatsko dionicarsko drustvo, with the purpose to help yhe government of Peru to plan, project and build roads connecting the part of the country gravitating to areas of Andes and the Amazons. Here, they also established the American Peruvian Corporation in 1912.

Brothers for the first time took different ways in September with Stjepan heading toward the USA while Mirko suppose to continue the research starting the expedition. Since his group did not meet another group of explorers to continue with, Mirko decided to preceed deeper into rainforest around Huayabamba river never on his own, not to be seen again. Numerous theories, stating murder, loss, even canibalism came around as a possible scenario but none of them was ever proven. After younger brother disappeared Stjepan kept travelling searching for mineral deposits in south and central America until 1917 when he made his home in Ouro Preto in Brasil.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona