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Mar, 24/2019
12:07pm
(GMT -3)

Bertoni Museum

Moises Bertoni Museum 
GPS Location
From Europe to the jungle
The researches
The Museum
Biography
Another Biography
 
GPS Location
-25.660401, -54.584188
 
From Europe to the jungle
click to enlargeThis is a fascinating trip back in time to the turn of the century when Moises Bertoni came to South America with 40 people from Switzerland. Their original destination was Argentina, but, in 1890, Mr. Bertoni decided to settle in the middle of the Paraguayan jungle. Moises Bertoni, locally known as "the sage", was a botanist, researcher and author. He lived with his beloved wife, Eugenia, co-worker on several projects and mother of his 13 children.
 
The researches
click to enlargeHe planted a great variety of exotic plants, which still beautify the area. Until his death, in 1929, Bertoni was a pioneer in the task of scientifically documenting the region´s flora and fauna, ecosystem, ethnology and meteorology. Together with his family he collected and classified more than 7,000 botanical specimens and also acclimatized some 100 species of trees. More than 10,000 insects were also classified.
 
The Museum
click to enlargeThe visitor can tour the laboratory with Mr. Bertoni´s original instruments, collections, skulls of regional animals and library and the small printing press he used to publish some of his 300 books, all of which carried his trademark "Ex Sylvis" (Latin for "from the jungle"). The land that previously belonged to Moises Bertoni has recently been declared a part of the National Park of Paraguay.
 
Biography
Biographical information:

MOISÉS SANTIAGO BERTONI: Naturalist, anthropologist, botanist. He was born in Lottigna, Canton Ticino (Switzerland), on June 15, 1857.

In 1875 he entered the University of Geneva where he studied for some time, the career of law to leave in 1876, year in which he enrolled in the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Zurich.

This same year he marries Eugenia Rossetti with whom he will have profuse offspring.

His sons Reto Divicone, Arnaldo de Winkelried, Vera Sassulitch, Elvezia Sofía and Inés, born in Switzerland; Inés, (born after the death of the previous one) and Moisés Santiago, born in Argentina; Guillermo Tell, Aurora, Linnaeus and Aristotle born in Paraguay.

In 1884 he emigrated with all his family and a group of fellow South Americans. He settled in Argentina until 1887 and began his botanical and anthropological studies. The abandonment of his companions, the economic difficulties and the threats of landowners in the area make him look for other lands to continue with his works. Arrives in Paraguay and founds a colony on the banks of the Paraná River, in the jurisdiction of Yaguarazapá.

In 1894 it is established 200 km north of Yaguarazapá, and 8 km from the mouth of Yguazú. Here he founded the Colonia Guillermo Tell, later called Puerto Bertoni.

In 1896, in recognition of his scientific work, the government calls him to found the National School of Agriculture in Trinidad, near Asunción, and assumes the direction of it until 1906, the year in which the school is closed.

He attends, in 1905, as Delegate of Paraguay to the Third Meeting of the Latin American Scientific Congress of Rio de Janeiro where he presents several works. In 1907 he created the "Estación Agronómica Experimental de Pto. Bertoni", where he continues the investigations initiated in the School of Trinidad.

In 1910 he published the "PHYSICAL AND ECONOMIC DESCRIPTION OF PARAGUAY". It also publishes the "AGRICULTURAL METEOROLOGY BULLETIN OF PTO BERTONI" and that same year, it represents Paraguay in the International Agriculture Exhibition, in the American International Scientific Congress and in the XVII Congress of Americanists, held in Buenos Aires, where Bertoni presents various papers.

In 1913 he attended, again as Paraguayan delegate, the International Congress of Agricultural Defense, held in Montevideo. In 1914, the government offered him the Directorate of Agriculture. In 1918 he installed his printing press and editions "Ex Sylvis", in the middle of the Alto Paraná jungle. In 1922 he attended, with his son Aristotle, the XX International Congress of Americanists, Rio de Janeiro.

Moisés Santiago Bertoni dedicated his efforts, his intelligence and his life to the natural sciences, agronomy, botany, geology, archeology, linguistics, meteorology, dendrology, geography, anthropology, astronomy and medicine.

Among his publications we highlight: "Revista De Agronomía" (1897-1913); "ANUAL SCIENTIFIC PARAGUAYOS" (1901-1927?), "METEOROLOGICAL BULLETIN OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE" (1902-1904); "AGRICULTURAL METEOROLOGY BULLETIN OF THE METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATORY AND PIT HYDROMETRIC STATION. BERTONI "(1911);" USUAL PLANTS OF PARAGUAY, ALTO PARANÁ AND MISIONES "(1907);" USUAL PLANTS OF PARAGUAY AND COUNTRIES LIMITROFES "(1914);" GENERAL CONDITIONS OF ORGANIC LIFE AND TERRITORIAL DIVISION "(1918);" THE GUARANÍ CIVILIZATION, PART 1-ETHNOLOGY, ORIGIN, EXTENSION AND CULTURE OF THE KARAI-GUARANÍ RACE (1922), "GUARANÍ CIVILIZATION, PART III-KNOWLEDGE, GUARANÍ HYGIENE, GUARANÍ MEDICINE" (1927); "THE GUARANÍ CIVILIZATION. PART II. RELIGION AND MORAL "(1957); "AGENDA AND MENTOR AGRÍCOLA PARAGUAYO-GUÍA DEL AGRICULTOR Y EL COLONO" (1927).

Moisés Santiago Bertoni died in Foz de Yguazú (Brazil), on September 19, 1929; his remains rest in the family cemetery of Puerto Bertoni.

Source: FORJADORES DEL PARAGUAY - BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY. Graphic production and production: ARAMÍ GRUPO EMPRESARIAL. General Coordination: Ricardo Servín Gauto. Direction of the work: Oscar del Carmen Quevedo. Tel .: 595-21 373.594 - mail: arami@rieder.net.py- Asunción-Paraguay 2001 (716 pages).
 
Another Biography
MOISÉS SANTIAGO BERTONI: This authentic sage, who identified with Paraguay to the point of giving him the scientific effort of his life, belonged to an old Swiss family of ancestry, native of the Canton of Tessin, which gave the Helvetic Confederation illustrious statesmen and jurists.

Moisés Bertoni studied Law and Physical and Natural Sciences at the Universities of Geneva and Zurich and, still very young, founded and directed the Lotigna Meteorological Observatory, in 1874. Despising the praise of the civilization of his homeland and a privileged situation, He chose as destination the rough path of science. Advised by his friend and teacher Eliseo Reclus, he moved to South America, the year 1884, accompanied by his mother Josefina Turriani de Bertoni and his young wife Eugenia Rossetti. Argentine President Julio Roca welcomed the naturalist, who immediately went to the Missions, attracted by the study of regional flora. But, astonished at the inexhaustible treasure offered to his scientific curiosity by the virgin areas of the Alto Paraná, Bertoni passed on to Paraguayan land at the end of 1886. He thoroughly explored the river, raising the first survey of its current to the Guairá waterfalls. It was first established in Yaguarasapá, to undertake timber exploitation with Argentine capital. Soon, however, he abandoned that enterprise, requesting from the Paraguayan government the concession of a hundred leagues of jungle to establish a Swiss colony-Guillermo Tell-which would later be Puerto Bertoni. In all that time his primordial desire, which is delivered with frenetic activity, is the study of the fauna and flora of the region and his ethnographic research in the Monday area.

In 1895, the government of General Egusquiza called the Assumption to commission the creation and direction of the School of Agriculture. Pausing for his scientific tasks, Bertoni accepts the mission as long as the State allows him to rescind the colonization contract and purchase the lands originally destined for it. At the School of Agriculture and experimental crops, the wise man will devote ten fertile years of his life, while his older children continue to work in their collections of Puerto Bertoni. The teaching tasks are not enough to his tireless activity and, during that time, Bertoni founds and directs-from 1899 to 1903- the Agricultural and Applied Sciences Magazine and gives the print two editions of the Agricultural Almanac of Paraguay. "If his scientific career had had no other expression than that of that magazine and those almanacs," says Rodolfo Ritter, "Dr. Bertoni would be creditor to the eternal gratitude of this country, whose nature and agriculture shed light like no other human being" .

Your scientific activity scares. He investigates, he forms collections, he writes his Physical and Economic Description of Paraguay, a monumental work of whose 17 voluminous volumes only four have been published until today. Before the economic inconveniences that oppose the edition of such copious material, lacking as it is of any official aid, Bertoni acquires a small printing press and installs in Puerto Bertoni his publisher Ex Sylvis that is publishing periodically, with types of box, the fascicles of Paraguayan scientific Annals. Deliveries are eagerly awaited in Asunción and in various American and European cities. The government of Eligio Ayala makes possible, at last, the appearance of this work in book publishing, in addition, Complete course of tropical agriculture, Agenda and agricultural mentor, Cotton and cotton, The Guaraní civilization, I part: Ethnology; The Guaraní civilization, II part: Medicine, hygiene and religion. The third part of the treatise - Anthropology - remained unfinished because of his death.

But these books are only a small portion of the enormous production of the wise, who is surprised by the death on September 19, 1929, in full labor. In Puerto Bertoni, converted into an Anthropological and Natural Sciences Museum, in experimental crops, in a meteorological station, in an active printing press, since 1904 there have been collections that include Paraguayan mineralogy, fauna and flora with more than 40,000 specimens; ethnography is enriched with valuable samples of disappeared indigenous civilizations.

The various scientific congresses attended by the sage accredit their invaluable naturalistic and anthropological works on Paraguay. In the possession of their descendants -even Paraguayan children bequeathed to the country- they await voluminous originals, the result of their indefatigable scientific work.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

REVIEW AGROPECUARIA YDE RURAL INDUSTRIES: Biography of Dr. Bertoni (January, February, March and June 1931).

Rodolfo Ritter: Under the deep emotion of remembrance: Bertonis portrait.

Particular information of William Tell Bertoni.

Source: CIEN VIDAS PARAGUAYAS By CARLOS ZUBIZARRETA. Prologue to this edition CARLOS VILLAGRA MARSAL. Prologue to the 2nd edition of 1985 ALFREDO M. SEIFERHELD. National Commission of Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the Independence of Paraguay. Bicentennial Library No. 6. EDITORIAL SERVILIBRO. Asuncion, Paraguay. 2011 (240 pages)

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Artocarpus heterophyllus - Jaca
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