Joseph Baudesson

Portrait of Joseph   Baudesson

Capitaine (Captain) Marie Joseph Auguste Baudesson (15 March 1867, Paris — ?) was a volunteer in the French army deployed in Tonkin, where he studied and photographed the Moi, the Cham and other ethnic minorities.

An exhibition of his work, Two years among the Moi’, was held in Hanoi in 1902. Baudesson had followed and expanded the path across the hauts-plateaux” of French military explorers such as Jules Harmand (a physician with the Garnier mission), Clovis Thorel, Commandant Henry or Capitaine Pierre-Paul Cupet (18591907, member of the Mission Pavie). He then joined the Indochina Railway Company, helping to the preliminary technical study for the Transindo-chinois, the railway service established between Saigon, Hanoi and South China.

His major work, Indochine et ses peuples primitifs, was initially published as a Journal de voyage’ in the review Le Tour du Monde in 1909. A completed version was published in 1919 in an English translation (by E. Appleby Holt) as Indo-china and Its Primitive People (London, Hutchinson; 1932: New York, E.P. Dutton & Co.).

Moi family, by Joseph Baudesson

Baudesson’s service record, 1906

See photos from Baudesson’s Album in Le Tour du Monde (1909), reposted by Cambodge Mag in 2018.